Gilbert-Ash secures £30m Tate Liverpool refurbishment project

The Belfast firm’s portfolio of cultural capital projects also includes the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Stirling Prize-winning Everyman Theatre in Liverpool…

A Belfast-based construction and-fit out firm has been appointed as main contractor for a major refurbishment of Tate Liverpool on Royal Albert Dock. Gilbert-Ash will commence construction on the £30m redevelopment in early 2024, led by Project Director Rodney Coalter. Designed by 6a architects, the project has been granted planning permission and listed building consent. Tate Liverpool is housed in an iconic 1846 warehouse, redesigned by Sir James Stirling and Michael Wilford in the late 1980s as the cornerstone of a reinvention of Royal Albert Dock.

It helped establish Tate as a pioneer for arts-led regeneration in the UK. A new public Art Hall on the ground floor will open out the building to admit daylight and offer views across the historic dock, while new gallery spaces will be created over three floors. Environmental standards and thermal performance will be significantly improved, with renewables and natural ventilation replacing fossil fuels to ensure better energy performance. Gilbert-Ash’s appointment follows its recent completion of work on the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Stirling prize-winning Everyman Theatre in Liverpool.

CGI illustration of the regenerated exterior of Tate Liverpool (photo credit: 6a architects).

It has also acted as main contractor for other celebrated cultural capital projects, including Battersea Arts Centre and Bristol Old Vic, while its heritage portfolio includes the Grade II-listed City of London Freemen’s School and Grade I-listed kitchen and dining building at Jesus College, Cambridge. Raymond Gilroy, Construction Director, Gilbert-Ash, said, “The team is already in place finalising plans to deal with the many logistical and technical challenges that lie ahead, in advance of a start on site in early 2024. “We are looking forward to developing successful and collaborative relationships with both our new client at Tate Liverpool, the wider project consultant team, and to a very successful project delivery.” Emma King, Capital Director, Tate, said: “Gilbert-Ash’s track record of working to the highest standards on both cultural and heritage buildings makes them the perfect contractors to deliver the reimagined Tate Liverpool.

“We look forward to collaborating with the architects and contractors to deliver this once-in-a-generation renewal, creating an art museum fit for the 21st century.” Funding for the project has come from the UK Government, including £10m from the Levelling Up Fund, as part of a successful combined £20m bid with National Museums Liverpool, and £6.6m from the DCMS Public Bodies Infrastructure Fund. The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority also awarded funding for the developmental phase of the project via its Strategic Investment Fund. 60 Boucher Place, Belfast BT12 6HT
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