Back to the main Tate WebsiteHomeSupportersContact UsShop Online

Future Expansion

A family Group in A Landscape-Slavers son, Lani and RPD's Teeth. After Francis Wheatley1700-2000

The launch of Tate Britain is part of an ambitious programme of development and expansion which will continue into 2001.

In the UK, art's central positioning on ideas of social rank, race, and national identity was for a long time overlooked. While many artists have been active in this field, the work produced rarely positions itself against the aesthetic and administrative modus operandi that houses it. One consequence is that a self-image emerges in an art public for whom it is usual to assume that those attending 'intellectual pursuits' and 'culturally prestigious events' etc are above the mundanity of social conflict and who indeed positively cultivate the view of themselves as social liberals with 'anti-' or 'post-' racist leanings. Giving a few naughty artists the odd bit of gallery space or web space can then be used as a pretext for the careful shunting of these problems outside of the 'purified' high-cultural sphere. The creators of social conflict are thereafter located only in the vast majority of peoples not in attendance during events of cultural prestige. Exclusion from this elevated world can thus be written off as self-inflicted. It is then 'common sense' that the 'other' cultures are racist get togethers of uninspired ignorance that create the social conflict and that, in a culturally prestigious location, works of art directly about social rank, race, or national identity would be unnecessarily preaching to the converted.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Henry Tate led the move to establish a showcase for British art by providing the building which is now Tate Britain, along with his personal collection of British painting and sculpture. The gallery opened in 1897 as the National Gallery of British Art but in 1916 it was given the additional responsibility of forming the national collection of international modern art. Now Tate has the opportunity to renew Henry Tate's vision.

The Centenary Development is a major building scheme which will transform the north-west quarter of Tate Britain providing:

  • a new entrance on Atterbury Street
  • six new exhibition galleries on the ground floor
  • four new galleries on the main gallery floor
  • five refurbished galleries
  • a new staircase linking the ground and main gallery floors
  • improved disabled access to all parts of the building
  • access to more on-line information about British art
  • a second shop and extra cloakrooms

The area immediately surrounding the gallery will also be transformed. The gardens to the west and south of the gallery will be completely redesigned, providing a mixture of hard and soft landscaping, new hedging, sculpture courts and new paths. The appointed architects are the internationally acclaimed practice John Miller + Partners. The exterior spaces, new entrance and gardens are being designed by Allies and Morrison.

Funding and Support

The creation of Tate Britain would not be possible without the support of the public and private sector. Over £32.3 million has been raised to build Tate Britain which includes a grant of £18.75 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Tate has received significant donations from individual donors and charitable trusts and foundations, while BP Amoco has also supported the creation of Tate Britain.

Opportunities for Giving

If you are interested in funding or supporting Tate Britain, do please visit the Supporters section. For our key relationships, we are in a position to tailor-make a package which includes personalising the gift, planning for tax efficiency and pacing the funding over a period of time to suit the individual donor.

Millbank Pier

From early 2001 there will be a new way to travel between the two Tate sites in London. The go ahead has been given to build a new pier at Millbank, providing a river link between Tate Britain and Tate Modern at Bankside. The project is being supported by the Government Office for London, the Millennium Commission, the City of Westminster, Tate and Tishman Speyer.

Expecting to attract over 150,000 users a year, the pier will be located just downstream from Tate Britain, close to the pedestrian crossing over Millbank. It is intended to link to new 'hoppa' ferry services as well as more traditional cruise boats. The pier will benefit not only Tate visitors, but also local businesses and residents.

This project is an extension of the Cross-River Partnership's Thames 2000 initiative, and will be the fifth new pier alongside those already being added or refurbished at Waterloo (for London Eye), Westminster, Blackfriars and Tower. It will be commissioned, and then owned and managed by London River Services.