The Hepworth in running for title

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A YORKSHIRE museum is in the running to win the £100,000 Museum of the Year prize less than 12 months after it opened.

The Hepworth, Wakefield, is one of 10 venues shortlisted for the prize.

The museum, named after Wakefield-born sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth, opened in May 2011 and within its first five months attracted more than 100,000 visitors. Other museums in the running include Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent.

Simon Wallis, director of The Hepworth Wakefield said: “We are delighted to be included in the long-list of museums for this prestigious award, which recognises The Hepworth Wakefield as one of the UK’s top ten museums and galleries.”

Lord Smith of Finsbury, chairman of the judges, said: “Whittling the achievements of Britain’s museums over the past year down to a list of 10 was an unbelievably challenging task.

“The outstanding quality of the projects that we finally settled on, however, perfectly encapsulates the vitality and dynamism of a part of our nation’s cultural life that continues to innovate, push boundaries and engage the public, even in these straitened times.”

A shortlist of four will be announced in May with the annual prize given out on June 19.