Work will be starting on the Hepworth Wakefield Garden later this month.
The gallery today announced that is has raised more than 80 per cent of the £1.8million funding needed to create the garden, meaning the facility will be ready to open this summer.
Following on from the £499,999 awarded to the project by Arts Council England in October 2018, two major new grants have now been awarded by The Foyle Foundation (£100,000) and The Wolfson Foundation (£150,000), taking the total raised to more than £1.5million.
The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, designed by internationally renowned designer Tom Stuart-Smith, will be one of the UK’s largest free public gardens, creating a major new visitor attraction for Wakefield and revitalising Wakefield Waterfront.
Simon Wallis, director of The Hepworth Wakefield said: “We are delighted by the extremely generous support from both The Foyle Foundation and The Wolfson Foundation towards the creation of The Hepworth Wakefield Garden. The timing of their awards has put us in an excellent financial position to complete the project this year, allowing Tom Stuart-Smith’s inspiring design to transform the vacant strip of land adjacent to the gallery into a garden for all to enjoy. It will make a huge difference to the setting of The Hepworth Wakefield and will attract many more visitors to our city.”
Once work on the 4,000 square metre site has started, The Hepworth Wakefield will continue fundraising so that the beautifully landscaped garden will be finished by summer 2019, coinciding with Yorkshire Sculpture International, the UK’s largest sculpture festival taking place in Leeds and Wakefield.
In December 2018, The Hepworth Wakefield announced it had generated £44,576 in public donations, gift aid and match funding in one week, after being selected to take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge. The Big Give is the UK’s largest match-funding campaign, where any donation made to The Hepworth Wakefield Garden between November 27 and December 4 was doubled.
The Hepworth Wakefield has been fundraising for the garden project for the last two years. Large grants have already been awarded by the Garfield Weston Foundation, The G&K Boyes Charitable Trust and Morrisons Foundation as well as a number of individuals. The Hepworth Wakefield has also pledged half of its £100,000 winnings from being awarded Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017.