Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Hepworth Wakefield to make the county the European sculpture capital - ambitious plan to attract tourists and boost economy

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Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Wakefield are at the heart of ambitious plans to make the county the European sculpture capital.

Both galleries will work alongside Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute to offer a unique art experience, as part of a major new project.

With support from the Arts Council England and Welcome to Yorkshire, the creation of The Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle will celebrate the county’s unique artistic heritage as the birthplace of 20th century sculptors, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.

With the opening of The Hepworth Wakefield in 2011, Yorkshire now has four major sculpture venues, attracting more than a million visitors each year.

The project will encourage people to see sculpture at the galleries, which all offer free entry to world-class exhibitions.

Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: “The Arts Council has invested significantly in several of the organisations involved in the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle and I’m delighted that we can support a project which will attract further investment and visitors to Yorkshire. It is a great example of how partnership working can help more people to become familiar with Yorkshire’s pre-eminence in modern sculpture.”

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the first of its kind in the UK and the biggest in Europe, opened in 1977 and is now one of the UK’s premier art attractions.

The West Bretton park attracted 350,000 visitors in 2011.

As part of the impressive programme for 2013, it will host the biggest UK exhibition to date, by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE.

The Hepworth, named after Wakefield born sculptor, Dame Barbara Hepworth, is the largest new gallery outside London.

It attracted half a million people during its first year, smashing the initial 150,000 target and making it one of the top three most visited galleries in Britain.

This year, the gallery will present the UK premier of a new performance piece by artist Linder Sterling, which will include collaborations with Northern Ballet, British fashion designer, Pam Hogg, and musician, Stuart McCallum.

As well as showcasing art and cultural attractions, the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle also hopes to boost the county’s tourist economy with visitors using local hotels, bars and restaurants.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive from Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We will be highlighting how to get to Yorkshire, how to travel from gallery to gallery as well as signposting visitors towards great places to stay and impressive places to eat. We will make it easy for those tempted, to come to Yorkshire and to see some of the best sculpture in the world.”

Visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle website, www.Ysculpture.co.uk for more information.