A RECORD number of people visited Barnsley for cultural events and experiences last year.

Tens of thousands have turned out for blockbuster events like Barnsley’s Big Weekend and the Bright Nights Festival, with a 27.5 per cent increase in visitors for the town’s annual light festival.

Since April, more than 600,000 people have visited Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens - and Elsecar Heritage Centre welcomed a further 100,000 people.

Coun Robin Franklin, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, said: “Our borough has so much to offer, and it’s great to see that so many people agree.

“I’m delighted that more people than ever before are visiting Barnsley.

“We have so much to offer in terms of shopping, cultural attractions, and events.

“We don’t have the city status and large attractions that some of our neighbouring areas have - theme parks, arenas, and racecourses but that doesn’t hold us back - our visitor figures are increasing rapidly each year. ( “Barnsley is thriving, and we have exciting ambitions for the future.”