Museums in Wakefield to get share of £157m

Director of The Hepworth, Simon Wallis in front of the building.
Director of The Hepworth, Simon Wallis in front of the building.

The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Art House, and Wakefield Museum services will benefit from a share of £157.5m worth of Arts Council funding to be handed out across Yorkshire.

The organisation revealed an increase of more than £5m for projects and organisations in the region over four years from April 2018.

Wakefield Council was one of several local authorities to enter the Art Council’s national portfolio, meaning it will receive investment to support its three museums and two castles.

It will be awarded £820,000 in the next four years. The council said some of the projects the funding will go towards include the development of a volunteering programme, giving people greater opportunities to get involved in culture and heritage, the setting up of an artist-led project at Pontefract Castle and the development of digital technology to enhance the collections.

Coun Jacquie Speight, cabinet member for culture, said: “The additional funding is going to make a real difference, helping to develop and enhance cultural programmes at our museums and castles and will make our collections more diverse and accessible to local people.

“I am delighted that other organisations including The Hepworth Wakefield, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Art House have also received funding.

“This will help boost the district’s profile and encourage more people locally, regionally and nationally to come and see the breadth and depth of the arts which are available in this district.”

The Art House’s funding from the Art Council will be more than doubled - from £395k in 2015-2018 to £988k in 2018-2022.

And The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park will continue to receive more than £906k and £1.3m per year respectively.

The Arts Council said: “We want to make sure that our investment is reaching as many people as possible, from the towns and cities in Yorkshire to the rural parts of the county.”