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Tate Britain reaches £45 million funding goal; scheme to conserve and upgrade galleries
Cathy Wilkes, (We Are) Pro Choice 2008. Mixed media. Overall display dimensions variable installation Presented by Tate Members 2009 © Cathy Wilkes.

LONDON.- The funding target of £45m for the Tate Britain Millbank Project has been achieved, Tate announced. The scheme to conserve and upgrade a number of Tate Britain’s beautiful historic galleries, open up the Millbank atrium spaces, and create a new Archive gallery and learning spaces, has been made possible with a grant of £4.9m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), a significant donation of £1m from Tate Members and through the generosity of private individuals and foundations.

The HLF grant of £4.9m includes a major archive digitisation project which will fully integrate Tate’s rich archival collections with the online Collection of British art. The award also supports a series of learning and outreach programmes across the country.

The newly refurbished galleries will open with a new chronological presentation of the Collection in the BP British Art Displays in May 2013. The new visitor facilities and learning spaces will open in autumn 2013.

This exciting project, which will restore and refine the original Tate Gallery, rededicated in 2001 as Tate Britain, started in February 2011. It aims to conserve the beautiful fabric of Sidney Smith’s 19th-Century building and carry out a major upgrade to the galleries, enabling Tate Britain to show its Collection in suitable environmental conditions. The Tate Britain Millbank Project also remodels and renovates visitor areas – opening up three floors of the stunning domed atrium at the front of the gallery – while creating much-needed learning studios and public facilities in order to meet growing demand.

The Foundations which have given to the Tate Britain Millbank Project include Clore Duffield Foundation, The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, The Linbury Trust, The Monument Trust, The Manton Foundation, The Taylor Family Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement, The Wolfson Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.

Tate Britain will unveil its major re-hang of the BP British Art Displays in the newly refurbished galleries in May 2013. As a museum where visitors will always see British art from the last 500 years to the present day, Tate Britain will present the story of British art in a continuous semi-permanent display – a walk through time - allowing familiar and less familiar works of the same period to sit together. This is part of a two-tier approach; firstly a route for visitors to walk through an open chronological presentation, and secondly Focus displays which will give more in-depth perspectives on particular artworks, artists or themes.

Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “I am extremely grateful to all the donors, Foundations and the HLF who have helped us reach our funding target for The Tate Britain Millbank Project. This project provides a much needed upgrade to Tate Britain and will hugely improve both the galleries and facilities for our visitors.”

Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain said: “Now that the funding is in place we can consolidate our ambition to bring together the architecture of our building with the way we show our collections. They will enhance each other in a way which I hope and believe will reward our many supporters.”

Sue Bowers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “This innovative project will totally transform the visitor experience at Tate Britain – one of our most loved national galleries. HLF is passionate about supporting projects that make our heritage accessible to everyone and through opening up the galleries, creating new learning spaces and digitising historic archives – this impressive project will do just that.”

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