When Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) opened 35 years ago it had just £1,000 to fund a small exhibition of 31 sculptures. Now it is one of north England’s most popular attractions, and is responsible for five indoor galleries set in 500 acres of the 18th century-designed Bretton Estate in Wakefield. The Park welcomes over 300,000 visitors each year, including 40,000 learning visits from schools and other groups. It is free to enter but contributes £5 million a year to the local economy through the people it attracts to the area.
‘Great art for everyone’ has been YSP’s goal since opening to the public in 1977, and the team there strive to increase understanding and enjoyment of art and landscape for everyone. Funding from the National Lottery has helped them to achieve this. Over the past 18 years the Park has received grants of £3.5m to help them develop their grounds and programme, and improve accessibility so that people of all abilities can enjoy the site.
Recently Me, Myself & I, a photography project run by YSP to encourage creative activity in young offenders, became one of only 10 projects to make it through to the semi-finals in the Best Arts Project category of The National Lottery Awards 2012.
The Park’s spectacular setting encourages exploration of the relationship between art and nature, and means that it is place of adventure and discovery for children and adults alike - there is nowhere else like Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
For more information visit www.ysp.co.uk
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