Yorkshire Sculpture Park is country’s top attraction in UK’s biggest tourism awards

Mike Fraine of Froneri presents ther award to Chris Winter (centre) and Nina Rogers of Yorkshire Sculture Park
Mike Fraine of Froneri presents ther award to Chris Winter (centre) and Nina Rogers of Yorkshire Sculture Park

A record-breaking year has earned a top Yorkshire attraction outstanding recognition in the White Rose Awards.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) was announced Large Attraction of the Year in the White Rose Awards celebration, the biggest tourism awards in the UK.

Fighting off strong competition, YSP – one of the world’s leading open air galleries, set in the grounds of the stunning 18th century Bretton Estate – received the prestigious award for a record-breaking year in 2015/16, attracting more than 700,000 visitors, the highest number in its 39-year history.

The 2015/16 season, the Park’s most successful year, saw YSP become the first venue outside London to host the iconic Tower of London Poppies: Wave display; the first UK exhibition of works by renowned American artist KAWS, presented in Longside Gallery and the open air.

It also saw the reopening of the Bothy Gallery, built around 1810 and once the home of the head gardener, after major refurbishment.

YSP’s founding and executive director, Peter Murray CBE, said: “We are delighted to be named Large Attraction of the Year. After nearly 40 years of hard work by hundreds of passionate staff, volunteers, artists and supporters, it’s wonderful to be recognised in this way.

“Great art for everyone has been our goal since opening to the public in 1977, enabling access, understanding and enjoyment of art and landscape, whilst dismantling many of the barriers that often exist between the public and contemporary art. This vision remains as strong as ever.”

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Yorkshire is very much on the must visit list for many people, and much of this is down to the wonderful people and businesses that help to make this county a world class visitor destination.

“The White Rose Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate their hard work and efforts in going the extra mile to help raise the bar nationally.”