Tate is pleased to announce that Plus Tate, the contemporary visual arts network, is to expand by sixteen institutions. They join the original cohort of eighteen partners, plus the four Tate galleries, to virtually double the size of the group. In 2010, Plus Tate was launched to share collections and expertise and build a network which would use Tate’s resources to strengthen the contemporary visual arts ecology in the UK. The expansion comes in the wake of the Warwick Commission Report which highlighted the importance of building strong arts organisations outside London.
The decision to extend the Plus Tate network was announced in September 2014 and applications were received through an open process in which premium was placed on a strong artistic vision, a focus on contemporary art, outstanding public programming and a commitment to local community engagement through art.
The network will now have greater geographic spread across the UK with three new venues being added in Northern Ireland, The Fruitmarket Gallery joining in Scotland and Artes Mundi in Wales. Three London venues have also been added.
Nicholas Serota said: ‘Expanding the network will significantly change Plus Tate’s texture. These are all organisations that contribute to their local community but which have a national profile. The larger network will bring different kinds of experience into the pool and facilitate greater cooperation between partners.’
Alex Farquharson, Director of Nottingham Contemporary said: ‘The Plus Tate network has made for closer relationships between a large number of leading visual arts institutions across Britain. Many of us are unique in our local environments; it is therefore invaluable to be able to share strategy, knowledge and experience with peers across the country, particularly at a time of considerable economic and political challenge. Instead of isolation and competition, Plus Tate has given rise to a collegial, mutually supportive network, committed to success in our sector, for our publics.’
Hugh Mulholland, Curator MAC in Belfast said: ‘Being included in Plus Tate …affords us the opportunity to become an active contributor to the well-established network of other galleries who already make up Plus Tate and who share our desire to be part of the national and international discourse around contemporary visual art practice.’
The new partners are:
Artes Mundi in Cardiff, Camden Arts Centre, Centre for Contemporary Art Derry-Londonderry, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, Chisenhale Gallery in London, The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Golden Thread in Belfast, Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston, John Hansard Gallery in Southampton, Liverpool Biennial, The MAC Belfast, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Modern Art Oxford, The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland, the South London Gallery and Spike Island in Bristol.
They join the original eighteen partners which are:
Arnolfini, BALTIC, Cornerhouse/HOME, firstsite, Glynn Vivian, Grizedale Arts, The Hepworth Wakefield, Ikon, Kettle’s Yard, mima, MOSTYN, Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange, Nottingham Contemporary, The Pier Arts Centre, Towner, Turner Contemporary, Whitworth Art Gallery, Wysing, plus the four Tate galleries.
The original cohort of eighteen Plus Tate partners is visited by over 3.5 million people every year, employs over 500 full time staff and has an annual turnover of £34 million. Research published in January, Plus Tate: Connecting Art to People and Places, revealed the significant regenerative and economic benefits of these organisations. Plus Tate has attracted collaborative funding in recent years such as that from JP Morgan for a national Plus Tate Learning Programme and £5 million from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to create Circuit, a peer-led programme for young people.
The enlarged Plus Tate group will meet together for the first time in July 2015 to set the agenda for the next phase of development to 2020.