Tate Modern has been awarded a grant of £5 million from the Wolfson Foundation, a charity which gives funds for excellence in the fields of the arts and the humanities, science, medicine and disability. The Tate announced the windfall today (12 April 2013).
The money will be used for new development and building work at Tate Modern. It will help create a spectacular new building adjoining Tate Modern to the south. It will be Britain’s most important new building for culture since the creation of the British Library in 1998. It will increase Tate Modern’s size by 60% adding approximately 21,000 square metres of new space.
The new building’s two central concrete cores are now complete and will house the lifts, stairs and services. The higher, at ten-storeys, reaches the full height of the new building, standing at 64 metres. The cores sit above the Tanks and are now being surrounded by a lattice of columns, which will continue to rise throughout the year to form the perimeter of the new building.
The Trustees of the Wolfson Foundation indicated that they wanted to make a special grant to acknowledge the importance of Tate Modern and the impact it has had on the arts in the UK.
Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “We are hugely grateful to the Wolfson Foundation, whose generous gift of £5 million will make a real difference to the transformation of Tate Modern. It coincides with a landmark in the project’s development, as the ten-storey concrete core is completed and visitors to Bankside can truly begin to see the new building taking shape.”
Janet Wolfson de Botton, Chairman of the Wolfson Foundation said: “We are delighted to be contributing to this exciting project at an organisation which has done more than any other to bring contemporary art to a mass audience. Tate Modern has been a remarkable success story since its opening in 2000.”
The new development will provide more space for contemporary art and enable Tate to explore new areas of contemporary visual culture involving photography, film, video and performance, enriching its current programme for a broader audience. Last year Tate Modern attracted 5.3 million visitors, the highest ever figure in its history, making it the second most popular tourist attraction in Britain.
The Wolfson Foundation funding will bring the total raised so far to 80% of the total capital costs of £215 million. Announcements about further significant donations will be made in coming months. Tate has received £50 million from Government, £7m from the Greater London Authority and the remainder has come from private donors. The new building will be completed in 2016 at the latest.
The Wolfson Foundation (www.wolfson.org.uk) supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education and the arts & humanities. All funding is based on expert peer review. Over 1 billion in real terms has been awarded in grants to some 8500 projects over the last 57 years.