Ambitious Tate St Ives Phase Two extension plans get Cornwall Council thumbs up
AMBITIOUS plans for a £12m extension at Tate St Ives have been given the unanimous thumbs up by Cornwall Councilors.
The impressive project includes new galleries and art handling facilities, plus education and community spaces at the site off Porthmeor Beach.
The new wing to the rear of Tate St Ives is now expected to begin construction this autumn and be completed by 2015.
It will, however, depend on the final go ahead from funders like the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.
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Figures given for the scheme - designed by prestigious architect Jamie Fobert – range from £10.5m to 12m.
It extends the already 500 square metres of floor space across five galleries at the existing site.
Tate St Ives is estimated to bring in more than 200,000 visitors a year to the town and generate more than £12m, according to a Cornwall Council report.
On Monday, Cornwall Council's West Sub-Area Planning Committee rubber stamped the plans after submissions in support, including one from St Ives Town Councillor Tim Andrewes.
The extension will create the capacity for three separate zones for exhibitions and displays, enabling a year-round programme and permanent display of the St Ives Modernists.
Tate St Ives' executive director Mark Osterfield said: "This is an extremely positive moment for us.
"We have listened and responded to our community stakeholders."
"We have a fantastic project with well-designed proposals, reflecting the gallery's rootedness in St Ives and allowing us to continue to build new ways of working for the future."
The Phase Two plan will create a new learning centre and additional gallery space, offices and toilets.
It has also involved the demolition and complete replacement of the previously decrepit Meadows' Flats housing complex for the elderly, owned by Penwith Housing Association, with 26 flats.
The Tate St Ives site is owned by Cornwall Council and leased at a peppercorn rent.
Mr Osterfield added: "The next milestone will be the decisions from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England on their financial support of the project.
"If they both agree to invest we will concentrate on completing the funding package through private donations with a view to starting work on the new gallery in autumn 2013 for completion at the end of 2015."