BT: Bringing Innovation & Technology Together

About Tate St Ives

The Project Partners (Tate St Ives, Cornwall County Council and Penwith District Council) have worked with the St Ives community to review the proposals to develop more facilities for Tate St Ives.

Tate St Ives aims, through its innovative exhibition and education programmes, which draw on the Tate Collection, to encourage a greater understanding and enjoyment of international Modern and Contemporary art in the unique cultural context of St Ives.

Tate St Ives also manages the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. The museum and garden offers a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain's most important twentieth-century artists.

How we are funded

Tate St Ives receives 35% of its funding from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The gallery undertakes to raise the remaining 65% through:

  • Admissions, commercial sponsorship, trusts and foundations, donations, and membership
  • The Tate St Ives Print Series, the café and bookshop, all profits from which go directly to fund Tate St Ives

Why does Tate St Ives need to develop?

Since its opening in 1993, Tate St Ives has been an outstanding success, contributing on average £16m* a year into the economy of Cornwall and leading the way for other ambitious projects to be realised, such as the Eden Project in 2000 and the Combined Universities of Cornwall in 2004.

However, success has brought unforeseen problems: when the Gallery was originally designed, it was estimated that there would be 70,000 visitors per year, yet over the past five years the Gallery has attracted an average of 240,000 visitors.

This has resulted in:

  • Overcrowding at peak times, with a negative impact on the visitors’ experience, on the staff and on the building
  • No education space for the 24,000 learners that come on average each year
  • No resource space for visiting teachers, students or staff
  • Queues for the toilets and café
  • Lack of circulation space for visitors and groups
  • Not enough gallery space for the history of St Ives art
  • No large flexible gallery for complementary changing exhibitions
  • Inadequate loading and preparation facilities for the art
  • Inadequate offices

Tate St Ives needs to develop; Phase Two seeks to solve these problems.

Phase Two benefits

Phase Two will also provide more opportunities for:

  • Bigger and better exhibitions, confirming Tate St Ives as a gallery of international standing
  • Understanding the heritage of the St Ives artists' colony
  • Engaging with art and ideas in national and international exhibitions
  • Better facilities to support our education work with local people, young and old, as well as artists, and our cultural and educational partners
  • Encouraging more out-of-season visitors

Phase Two is just one of a number of exciting projects currently being developed in Cornwall – The Leach Pottery, The Porthmeor Studios Renovation, St Ives Society of Artists – which will not only celebrate Cornwall's heritage but, more importantly, lay the foundations for the success of future generations by ensuring that Cornwall becomes internationally recognised as a thriving creative centre with a rich culture and quality of life.

* West Country Tourist Board 1996