Tate Modern opening date set as costs soar

The new Tate Modern in London is planned to open on 17 June 2016 despite mounting costs

Tate, a family of four art galleries in the UK, announced on 22 September that the new Tate Modern gallery in London will open to the public on Friday 17 June 2016. Created by architects Herzog & de Meuron, it will be the most important new cultural building to open in the UK for almost twenty years.

School children from around the UK will be invited to a special preview on Thursday 16 June, a day before the new galleries open to the general public. Young people will also be invited to celebrate the opening weekend, explore the new building and respond to the modern and contemporary art on display.

However, the cost of building the extension has soared to £260m – around £45m more than was originally budgeted.

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota revealed funding problems delivering the new 10-storey building while unveiling his annual report. He said he was confident the new gallery building would open in June next year in spite of a shortfall of about £30m in capital funding for the project.

In 2006, it was projected that the new building would cost £215m at 2012 prices and it was originally due to be completed in February 2012.

Fund raisers are now on a final push to raise money before the completion date.

High building cost inflation and a decision to extend the scope of the project to refurbish parts of the main gallery have been blamed by Serota for the cost overrun.

When completed the brick-clad extension building will connect to the existing galleries of the six-storey boiler house, putting the main turbine hall at the heart of the new Tate Modern complex.

The new Tate Modern will be unveiled with a complete re-hang, bringing together much-loved works from the collection with new acquisitions made for the nation since Tate Modern first opened in 2000. With 60% more display space, the world’s most popular gallery of modern art will feature over 250 artists from around 50 countries.

Nicholas Serota said: “The new Tate Modern is an instrument that will allow us to offer a rich variety of experiences to visitors and opportunities to artists for different kinds of presentation of their work.”

Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern said: “Art is one of the most dynamic and engaged forms of human behaviour, and when people step into a museum today, they don’t want to step out of their life, they want to get closer to it. The new Tate Modern will be so much more than a container for art, it will be a platform for human encounters.”