The Board of Trustees determines policy and, together with senior Tate staff, sets the strategic direction for Tate. It oversees the management of the gallery, with the Trustees acting as guardians of the public interest. 

Cornelia Parker, 'Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View' 1991
Cornelia Parker
Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View 1991
© Cornelia Parker

The Board decides on major acquisitions and resource allocations. It represents Tate externally, monitors the organisation’s performance against its agreed objectives and targets and ensures the stewardship of public funds.

The Board of Trustees is supported by a series of Sub-committees and Advisory Councils, as well as Tate’s connected charities and subsidiaries.

Tate’s Board of Trustees has fourteen members. Thirteen of these are appointed by the Prime Minister after an open process of selection, conducted in accordance with the Code of the Office of the Commissioner of Public Appointments, and one is a member of the National Gallery Board of Trustees. Correspondingly, one of Tate’s Trustees sits on the National Gallery Board.

In line with the Museums and Galleries Act 1992, at least three of Tate’s Trustees must be practising artists. The Board chooses a Chair from among its own number.

The role and responsibilities of Tate’s Board, the Chairman and individual Board members are laid out in Tate’s Management Agreement with DCMS. As Trustees of an NDPB, Trustees are also bound by the relevant chapters of Corporate Governance in Central Government Departments: Code of Good Practice 2011 [PDF from GOV.UK].

Tate Trustees as charity trustees are subject to provisions in the Charities Act 2011 and the general law applicable to charity Trustees. The Charity Commission’s core guidance for charity trustees The Essential Trustee [PDF from GOV.UK] set outs the main duties and the good practice all charity Trustees need to follow, to operate effectively and comply with the law.

As the legal entity responsible for running Tate, the Board of Trustees can potentially incur both civil liability (eg for breach of contract or negligence) and criminal liability (eg under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974).


Appointments are generally made for a term of four years, and may be renewed once for a further term of the same length. It is currently the convention that Artist Trustees serve for one term only.

Trustee vacancies are advertised externally in the media and on the government-sponsored Public Appointments website in order to reach as diverse an audience as possible.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Tate Trustee, please email