More funding pledged for £35m Hepworth gallery

A £35m art gallery will continue to be funded by a local authority, after senior councillors agreed to give £6m to The Hepworth Wakefield over the next five years.

Wakefield Council’s Cabinet pledged the cash at its meeting yesterday, after considering a report which said it had contributed £22.8m towards the local economy since it opened in 2011.

The Hepworth Wakefield is the biggest gallery outside London and has received more than a million visitors since opening, far exceeding expectations.

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It makes up the “sculpture triangle” in West Yorkshire, which includes Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton and Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds.

Wakefield Council played a 
key role in the building of the gallery and helped set up an independent trust to manage and operate the building and the collections on a 25-year lease agreement.

The report, considered by the cabinet, said the gallery has had a major impact in raising Wakefield’s profile as “one of Yorkshire’s leading cultural destinations in the country”.

Coun Les Shaw, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said The Hepworth was “a key feature in the regeneration of the 
area” and added that it had already proved itself as a premier cultural tourism destination in the region.