Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) welcomed a record number of visitors last year, attracting over 400,000 people, the highest number in its 37-year history.
Based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, YSP presents work by some of the world’s most extraordinary artists in a completely unique setting. Through the Park’s 500 acres of stunning historic parkland and five indoor galleries, YSP seeks to provide ‘great art for everyone’, enabling access, understanding and enjoyment of art and the landscape for all.
The record-breaking visitor numbers follow other significant achievements of 2014: YSP won the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year, the largest arts prize in the UK and the biggest museum prize in the world, beating strong competition to the title from the likes of Tate Britain and Hayward Gallery; reopened the historic chapel as a new gallery space after a £500,000 refurbishment with an exhibition by world-renowned artist Ai Weiwei; and showcased the work of other acclaimed artists, Fiona Banner and Ursula von Rydingsvard, in major indoor and open-air exhibitions.
Against an increasingly difficult funding environment, YSP is a strong example of a sustainable charity, raising over £2m every year on top of core funding through trading, donations, sponsors, trusts and foundations, to deliver exhibitions, education and community work, and to maintain the 500-acre estate. YSP is also a key economic driver for West Yorkshire – the Park is worth over £10m every year to the local economy.
Peter Murray CBE, YSP’s Founding and Executive Director, says: “We are delighted with these latest numbers – they are a wonderful recognition of the commitment and hard work over many years of everyone connected with YSP and confirmation that what we have at YSP is a rare and unparalleled experience for our visitors.”
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, says: “YSP is one of the best art venues in the UK and a true world leader. I’m delighted that they’re breaking new records with their visitor numbers after becoming Museum of the Year 2014. They go from strength to strength and richly deserve all their success.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive at Welcome to Yorkshire says: “The team at YSP have worked tirelessly for years to create a visitor attraction that not only wows people, but regularly changes – which in turn encourages people to visit again. The number of visitors they’re now seeing combined with the world-class talent which exhibit there shows that they’re a major player on the world stage. It’s also a reflection of the strong position Yorkshire tourism now sees itself in – a global destination.”