Press Release

New Millennium sees major expansion of Tate Gallery

In spring 2000 the Tate Gallery will create two new galleries in London. Tate Britain, at the original Millbank site, will open to the public on 24 March 2000, and Tate Modern, in the transformed Bankside Power Station in Southwark, will open on 12 May 2000. These join Tate Liverpool which opened in 1988, and Tate St Ives which opened in 1993, to form a network of galleries across the country.

The new galleries have been made possible with funding from the National Lottery. In February 1997 the Tate Gallery Centenary Development at Millbank was awarded £18.75 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Work will continue until 2001 on this development, transforming the north west quarter of the building to provide new galleries, a new entrance and many new facilities for visitors to Tate Britain. Tate Modern has received £50 million from the Millennium Commission and £6.2 million from the Art Council’s Lottery Fund.

Since 1950, the number of works in the Tate Collection has more than doubled, and the Tate’s audience has grown to over 2 million visitors each year. By the early 1990s it had become clear that the Gallery’s responsibilities to display both the British and Modern Collections in London could no longer be adequately fulfilled on the current Millbank site. In 1992 the Tate announced its decision to divide displays of the Collection between two sites in London, enabling it to show more effectively its Modern and British collections.

Tate Britain will present the world’s greatest collection of British art in a dynamic series of new displays and exhibitions. The gallery will show British art from the sixteenth century to the present day, highlighting masterpieces of the collection, while also introducing lively thematic approaches to British Art.

Tate Modern will be one of the foremost modern art museums in the world. It will house the Tate’s collection of international modern art from 1900 to the present, and it will be a gallery for the twenty-first century, exhibiting new art as it is created. The new museum will match those already established elsewhere in Europe and America and its opening will be equivalent to that of the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the 1920s or the Pompidou Centre in Paris in the 1970s.

In spring 2000 the two London galleries will be linked by a new transport strategy which will include a new shuttle bus and boat service, as well as bicycle and pedestrian routes.

More information about Tate Britain and its opening programme.