£290k to improve art and heritage displays

The Hepworth is unveiling a new gardens project. .
Jane Marriott deputy director.
The Hepworth is unveiling a new gardens project. . Jane Marriott deputy director.

Museums and galleries in the district have been given a £290,000 funding boost.

Wakefield Council’s libraries and museums service was awarded £166,276 and The Hepworth, Wakefield gallery was given £126,674 in the latest round of funding grants from Arts Council England’s Museums Resilience Fund.

The council plans to use the money to make its museum collections “more contemporary and diverse”.

Coun Les Shaw, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “This is really exciting news for residents and visitors coming to our museums.

“It will enable us to fund new exhibitions and modernise some of our facilities, so that we can share more of the district’s rich and varied history.”

Much of the grant will fund a new exhibition and the redevelopment of the main displays at Pontefract. A new museum hub display will also be created in the South East of the district. And the remaining cash will fund the creation of two new museums job roles.

The Hepworth will use the money to support a series of programmes and projects designed to engage with existing audiences and attract new visitors.

Ideas include a new volunteering and ambassadors campaign, increased digital content and a research project relating to gallery’s new riverside garden.

Managing director Jane Marriott said: “We are delighted that Arts Council England recognise The Hepworth Wakefield’s ability to grow our audience engagement and realise our digital ambitions.

“We know Wakefield is historically an area of low participation in the arts and this is something we can continue to actively redress with this funding.”