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Green light for The Hepworth Riverside Gallery Garden

31 Jul 2018

New funding and planning permission is in place for The Hepworth Riverside Gallery Garden

The Hepworth Wakefield is delighted to announce that the G&K Boyes Charitable Trust has generously awarded £100,000 in support of its ambition to transform the grassed area adjacent to the gallery into a beautifully landscaped garden, free for all to enjoy, created by leading designer Tom Stuart-Smith.

In March this year, The Hepworth Wakefield was granted planning permission to develop the 4,000 square metre site (around one acre) into an ambitious garden that will link the dramatic Sir David Chipperfield-designed gallery to the existing playground and soon-to-be-renovated Victorian mill complex with which it shares the waterfront site.

This new funding adds to the £250,000 awarded by the Garfield Weston Foundation, generous contributions from a number of private individuals, and half of the prize money won by The Hepworth Wakefield when it was named Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017. To date, the gallery has raised 40% of the total funds needed before work can begin on the Garden.

Stuart-Smith is an award-winning garden and landscape designer who has won eight gold medals and three ‘best in show’ at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show. He has designed the garden for Wakefield to create year-round interest for visitors. Early flowering trees and plants, including Japanese flowering cherry, magnolia species, snowdrops and hellebores, will be followed by complex meadow planting that will burst into full colour in the summer months. Late flowering asters and anemones together with trees such as Cornus kousa that turn deep red and orange will maintain colour throughout the autumn, and sculptural plants such as alliums and exotic grasses will create drama in the winter. It will incorporate well known plants with much rarer species, have a number of sites for outdoor sculptures and small lawned areas and seating on which people can relax.

Simon Wallis OBE, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield, said:

‘We are so grateful to the G&K Boyes Charitable Trust for their generous contribution to this exciting project. Their support brings us closer to achieving our goal of creating one of the largest free public gardens in the UK. There is nothing like it near Wakefield and it will not only enhance the experience of visiting the gallery and playground but also create a world-class green space in the heart of the city for the benefit of local residents.’

Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said:

‘I hugely admire the ambition of The Hepworth Wakefield, which in its first seven years has welcomed 2 million visitors, secured a fantastic international reputation, won Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017 and is shortlisted for Large Visitor Attraction 2018 in the White Rose Awards. That it is now undertaking to transform its wider site shows that, despite its success, this is not a gallery that rests on its laurels. The Hepworth Riverside Gallery Garden will be a very exciting new visitor attraction for Wakefield which I am sure will draw people into Yorkshire from far and wide. It is fantastic that the project has already attracted such significant support and I wish them all the best with completing the fundraising campaign.’