Barnsley Museums to receive £3.93M funding which helps safeguard nation's cultural heritage

Barnsley Museums to receive £3.93M funding which helps safeguard nation's cultural heritage


  • Elsecar Heritage Centre is among more than 60 galleries, museums, libraries and cultural venues to receive Government’s Cultural Investment Fund (CIF)
  • Awarded through the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) strand of the funding, this award will support Elsecar in becoming an internationally recognised visitor destination.



Galleries, museums, libraries and cultural venues across the country, including Elsecar Heritage Centre, are to benefit from almost £50 million of funding which will improve people’s access to the arts, safeguard cultural assets for future generations and power economic growth through culture.


Barnsley Museums have been awarded a grant of £3.93M by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England.


The significant funding will transform Elsecar Heritage Centre, creating new creative studios in derelict historic spaces, maker and museum galleries and stunning new indoor and outdoor areas for events and cultural activity.


The investment includes new facilities in Barnsley’s Principal Towns, creating new cultural hubs and a creative network, and a cultural programme that promises to create a real buzz, excitement and ambition, for the whole borough, its residents and visitors.   



Arts Minister Lord Parkinson, said:


“Culture is the bedrock of society. It brings people together, entertains and informs us, and helps us to understand our common past and shared future.


“Today we are announcing a raft of new funding for treasured cultural institutions up and down the country.


“This will help them to continue their great work, advance our work to level up access to arts and culture so they can be enjoyed by people no matter where they live, and protect these cherished institutions for future generations to enjoy.”


Councillor Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, Leader of the Council said:

“Elsecar has always played an important part in Barnsley’s history, from its thriving industrial past to its unique heritage assets, it’s a place to be cherished and proud of.  Now thanks to the generosity of the DCMS-funded Arts Council managed Culture Development Fund, significant investment in the village will have a major impact on its future, catapulting it even further to become an internationally recognised visitor destination.


“The £3.93 million funding will make Elsecar a hub for cultural connectivity across Barnsley, for people, businesses, communities and partners.  New workspaces, galleries and events spaces will support an innovative new cultural programme that will hugely benefit the borough economically and culturally.

“The funding will also connect Elsecar with new local creative hubs to be established in our Principal Towns, working together with our local communities supporting people to co-produce and take part in  local cultural activities. These hubs and their activity will have positive impacts on our economy but also on people’s health and wellbeing. The hubs will create a vital and far-reaching cultural network, working to boost Barnsley’s creative sectors in many ways, through employment and partnership working”


Darren Henley, Chief Executive Officer, Arts Council England, said:


“Our artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries are experts in making villages, towns and cities better places to live, work, visit or play. This investment means they’ll be able to help more people across England to lead happier, more creative lives”.


The Cultural Investment Fund will see £48 million distributed to 63 organisations. It is allocated through three streams: £24 million through the Cultural Development Fund, £18.8 million through the Museums Estate and Development Fund, and £5 million through the Libraries Improvement Fund. The announcement follows a concerted effort by the government to support the country’s vital cultural organisations.


Barnsley Libraries has been awarded £144,375 of funding that will support the transformation of Dodworth Library as part of the Council’s commitment to refurbish all our community libraries.


The Cultural Development Fund aims to give people access to arts and culture in areas with historically low levels of cultural engagement and boost economic growth.