New Barbara Hepworth gallery opens in Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield It is hoped about 150,000 people will visit the gallery in its first year

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A new £35m art gallery has opened in West Yorkshire celebrating sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth.

About 10,000 visitors are expected to visit the Hepworth Wakefield on its first weekend.

It is hoped the gallery will add about £3m to the local economy and attract 150,000 visitors in its first year.

The new building, alongside a weir on the river Calder, is thought to be the largest purpose-built gallery to open in the UK since 1968.

'Sculpture capital'

Dame Barbara's family have donated more than 40 prototypes to the complex which also features work by her contemporary Henry Moore, who was born in nearby Castleford.

The gallery has been built as the centrepiece to the city's £100m regeneration.

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: "The real debate is the effect on the local economy.

"Wakefield is a better place for the Hepworth."

Wakefield is also home to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Leeds has the Henry Moore Institute, leading to claims by some that West Yorkshire is the sculpture capital of the UK.

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