A TOP Barnsley tourist attraction has begun a £3 million improvement programme which is expected to create up to 80 new jobs.
Cannon Hall Farm at Cawthorne is to be transformed over the next two years with the help of experts from business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley.
The Easter weekend will see the unveiling of a new outdoor play area to include a climbing forest and an innovative tube maze as well as a petting area where children can handle small animals.
Future developments will include an indoor play zone offering a high ropes course, drop slides, foam ball cannons and a children’s restaurant.
Later the farm will be redesigned with new gravity feeding systems and enclosures to make it easier for visitors to view sheep, cattle and pigs.
The farm shop will be rebuilt and extended to incorporate features like a bakery and smoke house. Extensions are also planned to the gift shop, restaurant and farm entrance.
Managing director Robert Nicholson said: “We’ve been welcoming visitors here for 22 years now and this is an opportunity to put everything we’ve learned during that time into this significant new development.
“Now we’re responding to what people are telling us they want. We already employ around 120 staff and I’m confident that will eventually increase to roughly 200 and will hopefully mean we can offer more professional jobs within the range. Although we know there are challenges ahead, it’s a very exciting time.”