Plans lodged for Tate Liverpool refurb

Formal plans for a multi-million pound revamp of a major Liverpool art gallery have been confirmed.

It was announced last year after securing a £10m grant from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, Tate Liverpool would undergo a significant refurbishment and close its doors to the public during the period. Now, a planning application has been lodged with Liverpool Council outlining how the gallery intends to prepare for the future.

It is expected the total cost of the revamp will come to almost £30m.

In a design and access statement attached to the proposals, 6a Architects, on behalf of the Tate said in the 35 years since it opened, “expectations of a gallery setting have significantly evolved” with the site becoming a “world leader” in the sector.

The proposals, known as Reimagining Tate Liverpool will “transform the building with galleries to meet the scale and ambition of today’s most exciting artists, while creating social spaces that better connect with the city and its communities, creating an environment that is flexible and inviting and able to host people, art and ideas in equal part.”

Under the scheme, a series of external alterations will be made, including remodelling and refurbishment of galleries on the first and fourth floors and other social spaces, including alterations to the ground floor. New windows and doors are proposed to be installed on the dockside elevation, alongside  the introduction of extended steps and terrace area in Mermaid Court. 

Refurbishment of other associated spaces is also proposed including visitor services and new cafe, shop, cloakroom and toilet facilities. Tate Liverpool opened in the Albert Dock in 1988 as a fresh addition to the Tate collection, the UK’s national collection of British art, both historical and modern.

The original building was designed by leading architect Sir James Stirling. In 1998, it underwent a major refurbishment to create an additional gallery, with further works taking place in the foyer and cafe in 2007.

The Turner Prize, the UK’s most famous art award, returned to the gallery last year with displays from Heather Phillipson, Ingrid Pollard, Veronica Ryan and Sin Wai Kin. The design and access statement added: “The project will strengthen Tate Liverpool’s operations, better connecting staff and developing opportunities for event, hire and self-generated income to support its delivery of world-class programmes.”

A date has not been confirmed for the plans to be considered by Liverpool Council’s planning body.

Images: Concept art for reimagined Tate Liverpool © 6a architects

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