More than a million visits to Leeds and Wakefield galleries in a year

Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

More than a million people visited the four art galleries which form the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle (YST) according to latest statistics, making it one of its busiest years ever.

The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park attracted around 1.01 million people from April 2017 to March this year – more than the Houses of Parliament welcomed in 12 months.

Leeds Art Gallery only reopened in October 2017 after an 18-month multi-million pound renovation and in that time it was visited by 213,430 people – up 52 per cent on the same period in 2015/16 before it closed.

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Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in West Bretton, Wakefield, had its second-best year ever after recording 481,334 visitors for 2017/18.

The Hepworth Wakefield was up a by 22 per cent on the previous year after 248,731 passed through its doors.

And the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds attracted 73,853 people – a rise of 9.8 per cent year-on-year.

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Jane Bhoyroo, of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, said: “We play a key role in the wider Yorkshire tourism offer and together we are another compelling reason for people to visit the county.

“Even better, all our galleries are free so it opens up access to the arts for everyone.

“Whether you’re a lifelong art lover or have never set foot in a gallery, there’s something for everyone – that, I think, is the secret to our success.”

Read more: Leeds Art Gallery re-opens to the public today after almost two years being shut for essential repairs
Work has started on Yorkshire Sculpture International (YSI) – a major exhibition across all four galleries beginning in summer 2019, which has already attracted £750,000 funding from Arts Council England. It is due to include new outdoor commissions and an extensive community and events programme.

The Hepworth Wakefield won Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017, adding to Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s victory in 2014.