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Yorkshire Sculpture Park set to welcome visitors back on Wednesday 29 July 2020

22 Jul 2020

Yorkshire Sculpture Park has announced that it will reopen its gates 7 days a week between 10am and 6pm.

From Wednesday 29 July, visitors will once again be able to enjoy world-class modern and contemporary sculpture in the open air, set within beautiful 18th century landscape. The Underground Gallery will be open, where visitors can view the vibrant, major exhibition by leading Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos and the physical gallery shop will be open for business as well as online. Over the coming months, additional galleries including The Weston, Chapel and Longside will open as restrictions and funding permits.

YSP’s retail outlet in the main visitor centre will be open, and in due course the main café will reopen. There will be a take-out offer available at YSP Learning café. 

Prioritising safety and compliance with NHS guidelines to ensure YSP is COVID-19 secure has meant that some essential changes have been put into place. These include social distancing, one-way systems and restricted visitor numbers. 

Similar to attractions across the UK, everyone must pre-book a ticket online in advance to gain entry. A £6 ticket booked through www.ysp.org.uk includes access to the Underground Gallery, open air galleries, YSP grounds and parking. Under 16s, carers and Max card holders are eligible for a free ticket but must book, so that numbers can be managed on site. 

Founded in 1977, the much-loved charity and accredited museum is set in a vast landscape, with 6 indoor galleries, restaurants, shops, cafes and an arts learning centre. The costs associated with operating an organisation of this type and scale is significant, and YSP has to raise 80% of the income needed to operate through visitors, fundraising and donations.

Since YSP closed its gates in March due to COVID-19, it has faced a financial challenge. The charity has lost £4 in every £5 of its income. It now needs vital funds from tickets and donations to be able to open to the public.

Visitors are asked to plan ahead, book and pay on line and once on site, to follow new directional signage, use hand sanitiser stations and follow one-way systems to keep each other and YSP staff safe. For more information and to plan your visit, visit www.ysp.org.uk/visit. 


Notes to editors

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017. It is an independent charitable trust and registered museum (number 1067908) situated in the 500-acre, 18th-century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire. Founded in 1977 by Executive Director Peter Murray, YSP was the first sculpture park in the UK, and is the largest of its kind in Europe, providing the only place in Europe to see Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man in its entirety alongside a significant collection of sculpture, including bronzes by Henry Moore and site-specific works by Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash, Alfredo Jaar and James Turrell.

YSP mounts a world-class, year-round temporary exhibitions programme including some of the world’s leading artists across five indoor galleries and the open air. Recent highlights include projects by Giuseppe Penone, Chiharu Shiota, Tony Cragg, KAWS, Bill Viola, Fiona Banner, Ai Weiwei, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Amar Kanwar, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Joan Miró, Shirin Neshat and Joana Vasconcelos. More than 80 works on display across the estate include significant sculptures by Phyllida Barlow, Katrina Palmer, Ai Weiwei, Roger Hiorns, Sean Scully, Elisabeth Frink and Niki de Saint Phalle.

Attracting almost half a million visitors a year prior to the pandemic, YSP’s driving purpose for over 40 years has been to encourage, nurture and sustain interest in and debate around contemporary art and sculpture, especially with those not typically familiar with art participation. It enables open access to art, situations and ideas, and continues to re-evaluate and expand the approach to considering art’s role and relevance in society. Supporting 40,000 people each year through YSP’s learning programme, this innovative work develops ability, confidence and life aspiration in participants.

Creative Case for Diversity 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park was founded in 1977 to enable fairer cultural access and opportunity and we are committed to being part of change towards a fairer world. We do not tolerate discrimination in any form and are proactive in our programme, policies and behaviours to address inequalities locally, nationally and internationally. We recognise that economic, social and cultural disadvantage is complex and intersectional and shape our activity accordingly. Diversity and equality are crucial to the arts because they release the true potential of our nation’s artistic talent – from every background. At YSP, we support Arts Council England’s mission – great art and culture for everyone. We share ACE’s commitment to promote and embed diversity in our workforce and cultural programme. This is called the ‘Creative Case for Diversity’.


YSP Opening Press Release 21.07.20

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High Res Image Downloads


Sophie Ryder, Sitting 2007. Photo © Jim Varney, courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

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Size: 8.75Mb


Anthony Caro, Promenade, 1996. Courtesy Barford Sculptures Limited and YSP. Photo © Jonty Wilde, courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

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Size: 1.67Mb


Joana Vasconcelos, Solitaire, 2018. Photo © Jonty Wilde, courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

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Size: 1.96Mb


Henry Moore, Upright Motives - No. 1 Glenkiln Cross; No. 2; No. 7, 1955-56. Courtesy the Henry Moore Foundation. Photo © Jonty Wilde, courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Format: Jpeg File
Size: 7.43Mb


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