Although Barnsley’s heritage is rooted in the industrial revolution, principally mining and glassmaking, there is very little left of such industries now. The pit heads have been taken down and the slag heaps turned back to pasture. Surrounded by ancient villages, historic parkland and bordering onto the Peak District, Barnsley has some excellent places to visit for those wanting to delve into history or get back to nature.

Within the Town Hall itself there is a brand new Experience Barnsley Museum that gives a good insight into the area. Our 1,200 members come from within the town itself and also from nearby towns and villages. Our groups meet in some 30 venues all over the borough.



The u3a movement is a unique and exciting organisation which provides life-enhancing and life-changing opportunities. Retired and semi-retired people come together and learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward: the sheer joy of friendship and discovery!

We are a lively and friendly organisation offering a wide range of learning, creative and leisure groups. Currently we have over 120 groups. It's a great way to meet people and make new friends.

Annual cost of membership is low at just £12.00 per annum, a £5.00 one-off joining fee, and a blue box donation of £1.50 per meeting to cover costs including room hire and other overheads. Our activities are organised by our members who share their skills and expertise; the groups generally meet on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

We especially hope you will join us if you have an interest or skill to share. As above, the full year membership fee from April to April is £12 per annum, but should you join later in the year these fees are reduced to £8 for new members.

About Our u3a

Our u3a was established in July 1996 with fewer than 30 members, we now have around 1,200 members and have been growing fast.

We are an independent, free standing charity affiliated to The Third Age Trust.

In this country there are now over 1,500 u3a's with a total membership of nearly 400,000 people.

Barnsley & District u3a became a Registered Charity in its own right in October 1999.

Who chooses the Group activities and how are they run?

Barnsley and District u3a operates within a radius of approximately 10 miles from the centre of Barnsley, and group meetings are held at various locations within this area. Group activities are chosen by members.

In keeping with the u3a principle of "self-help and co-operation", all group activities are led by a member of the Group acting as Group Coordinator. No one receives any remuneration for the work they do.