• Tate St Ives composite image

Tate St Ives Phase 2

Tate St Ives opened in 1993, on a spectacular site overlooking Porthmeor Beach, marking the legacy of the St Ives Modernists, the artists who worked in the town during the mid twentieth century. Tate St Ives offers a lively and varied international exhibition programme with three major exhibitions each year. Exhibitions include major figures in British and international Modern and contemporary art.

The gallery and its programme attracts approximately 200,000 visitors a year and brings approximately £12m into the regional economy.

With the twentieth anniversary of Tate St Ives, the gallery’s importance as a part of the nation’s cultural heritage is increasingly apparent and we want to build on these achievements as well as create a new offer for the twenty-first century through Tate St Ives Phase 2, a project which will refurbish and extend the gallery.

Tate St Ives Phase 2 has developed out of and been informed by close consultation with local residents and visitors to St Ives. This desire to see more of the Tate collection in Cornwall, and a continued interest in the best of international modern and contemporary art. In addition it is clear that there is broad interest in our events and learning programmes.

Tate is now embarking on a programme of works which will see the creation of an extension doubling the current gallery space, as well as deliver new dedicated learning spaces and improved visitor facilities in the existing building.

What work is happening now?

  • The construction company, Mansell are continuing with the initial phase of excavation, digging out the blue Elvin granite and shale adjacent to the gallery where the new extension will be. (The excavated material will be removed from the site, to be used in the creation of a new golf course at the Gwel an Mor luxury Holiday Park in Portreath).
  • Structural changes to the existing building are taking place, which will enable, at a later date, the building of a new terrace room above it and create a new studio space.
  • In the Heron Mall a new reception area and a new cloakroom facility in the existing reception area are being created
  • A new resource room is being built

Throughout the closure period information regarding the project is available from the temporary Visitor Centre, open daily in Meadow Flats (situated next door to the gallery). Here you can view Phase 2 plans, visit the pop-up shop or find out about our events programme.

The reason for Tate St Ives Phase 2

Since opening in 1993, Tate St Ives has been an outstanding success, leading the way for other ambitious projects such as the Eden Project in 2000 and the Combined Universities of Cornwall in 2004.

Expanding exhibition and display programme

Tate St Ives currently offers a world class programme of exhibitions and displays. However, with enhanced spaces the gallery could offer a greatly expanded programme without the temporary closure of exhibitions and display spaces.

Wide-reaching learning and community programme

Tate St Ives engages 37,000 visitors in public learning programmes annually, including school tours, teacher training, workshops for families and young people and sessions for hard to reach communities such as older people and people with disabilities. The temporary Courtyard space has demonstrated the value of a dedicated learning facility, but there is a need for improved Learning spaces.

Better facilities for visitors and staff

The gallery was designed for 70,000 visitors a year, so after 20 years of operation with 200,000 visitors annually, there is an urgent need for expansion to accommodate and look after our visitors.

In addition, the gallery employs a large pool of full time, part time and casual employees, volunteers, artist educators, young people from the local area as part of Tate Collective and community facilitators. We want to better support this team, expand it to include more internships and apprenticeships and build on our research into arts practice with residencies for visiting researchers and artists.

Project Information

Project type: 
Project leader: 
Mark Osterfield, Executive Director Tate St Ives