Invitation to tender for Play

The Hepworth Wakefield is creating an inspiring riverside garden by a leading international designer which will provide a new free-to-enter public space and visitor attraction for the residents of Wakefield and visitors to the gallery.

The development of the garden is in direct response to our audience research with sector-leading specialists MUSE to increase visitor numbers and mitigate the threat to core funding. The garden will be a visitor attraction in its own right attracting an additional 100,000 visits to The Hepworth annually.  It is a critical element of our vision for the long-term sustainability and success of THW, as we look to widen our public appeal, attracting new and repeat visitors, and contribute to the health and wellbeing of our local community.

The garden will be created on the lawned area between the gallery and Rutland Mills, a former industrial site, currently owned by Wakefield Council and showcase some of our sculpture.  The Hepworth Wakefield will lease the land from the council.  The total cost of the development, including play, is circa £2.2 million and it is anticipated that the garden will be completed by summer 2018.

The Hepworth Wakefield seeks an architect/artist to produce a design brief and proposals for the design of a play area. The desired end use is an area of fun and engaging outdoor play, which members of the public can explore without supervision.  This project will be developed alongside The Hepworth Riverside Gallery Garden project.

The play architect/artist will be required to work closely with the appointed garden designer to produce a concept design, brief and proposals, ensuring that the play design complements the garden design. It is also important that the play architect/artist consults with current and future play area users. 

You will need to produce a proposal in response to the brief by 13 April 2017. A visit to The Hepworth Wakefield prior to the deadline can be arranged on Wednesday 22 February, Monday 6 March or Thursday 16 March, to meet with Nicola Freeman (Director of Learning & Engagement) and Meghan Goodeve (Senior Learning Manager) in order to view the site and better understand its context. 

A project brief can be downloaded here (pdf) or via the Documents list on this page. For more information please contact Laura Whiteman, Business & Capital Development Executive, on 01924 247369 or email