MORE THAN 400,000 people visited Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2014 - the highest number in its 37-year history.
The record-breaking visitor numbers follow other significant achievements in 2014. Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) won the largest arts prize in the UK, the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year, beating Tate Britain and the Hayward Gallery; reopened the historic chapel as a new gallery space after a £500,000 refurbishment with an exhibition by Ai Weiwei; and showcased the work of Fiona Banner and Ursula von Rydingsvard, in major indoor and open-air exhibitions.
Peter Murray, YSP’s founding and executive director, said: “We are delighted with these latest numbers – they are a wonderful recognition of the commitment and hard work over many years of everyone connected with YSP and confirmation that what we have at YSP is a rare and unparalleled experience for our visitors.”
The Park, in West Bretton near Wakefield, is worth £10m to the local economy, and raises more than £2m a year through trading, donations, sponsors, trusts and foundations.
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: “YSP is one of the best art venues in the UK and a true world leader. I’m delighted that they’re breaking new records with their visitor numbers after becoming Museum of the Year 2014. They go from strength to strength and richly deserve all their success.”
Gary Verity, chief executive at Welcome to Yorkshire said: “The team at YSP have worked tirelessly for years to create a visitor attraction that not only wows people, but regularly changes – which in turn encourages people to visit again. The number of visitors they’re now seeing combined with the world-class talent which exhibit there shows that they’re a major player on the world stage. It’s also a reflection of the strong position Yorkshire tourism now sees itself in – a global destination.”