THE Hepworth gallery is already a gem in Yorkshire’s cultural offering, welcoming 250,000 visitors in the past year. A draw for tourists from home and overseas, the Wakefield attraction now wants to transform adjacent land into a public garden to enhance the area’s appeal.
Now designer Tom Stuart-Smith has promised that the city’s waterfront, where the gallery sits, will become “a destination point in its own right” – and this vision can surely only be helped by plans for neighbouring mill buildings to be redeveloped to include creative studios, shops, food outlets and a hotel.
That the gallery, which opened in 2011, was even established in the first place was somewhat remarkable, given the scale of the economic downturn at the time. Yet, thanks to the vision and foresight of those local leaders who identified a clear link between tourism and regeneration, it’s not just Wakefield which is reaping the rewards – the whole of Yorkshire is doing so too.