Preston’s Harris Museum & Art Gallery has just been announced as one of sixteen more visual arts organisations across the UK to join the contemporary visual arts network, Plus Tate.
The sixteeen 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.
Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, 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.”
Councillor Veronica Afrin, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure Services, Preston City Council added,
“Being part of the Plus Tate network will inspire us to create even more innovative and extraordinary experiences for our visitors to the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, and to develop Preston’s reputation as a cultural destination.”
Alex Walker, Head of Arts & Heritage at Preston City Council said,
“Tate has done more than any other organisation to put contemporary visual arts firmly at the centre of British cultural life, developing new audiences and inspiring debate. Plus Tate is a wonderful opportunity for regional venues, like the Harris, with a commitment to showing new art, to work with and learn from Tate, and other partners, to enable more people to enjoy contemporary art.”
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 & 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.