ERDF tourism grant brings Picasso to Tate Liverpool in 2010

The North West European Regional Development Fund programme has confirmed £880,000 of funding to support major exhibitions at Tate Liverpool over the next three years.

The summer series of 12-week international art shows is set to generate £40m a year for the visitor economy, according to the North West Development Agency, which manages EU funding in the region.

The series started in May with Colour Chart: Reinventing Colour, 1950 to Today and is set to be repeated in the next two years following the announcement.

The shows will build on the success of Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900 during Liverpool's European capital of Culture year in 2008.

Next year, Picasso: Peace and Freedom will explore Picasso's political commitment; featuring some of his important works related to war and peace from the 1940s onwards alongside a wide range of topical and contextual material.

Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA, said: "Building on the legacy of Liverpool 08 and the success of the Turner Prize and Gustav Klimt exhibitions, each of these exhibitions will be a highlight in the region's cultural calendar."

Tate Liverpool opened at the Albert Dock in 1988 as one of the Tate gallery estate. Sugar refiner and art collector Henry Tate, born in Chorley Lancashire, built his career in Liverpool with a chain of grocer's shops before moving into the sugar industry and relocating to London.

Lorraine Rogers, chief executive of tourist board The Mersey Partnership, said: "Tate Liverpool is firmly established as one of this destination's major draws as a cultural venue presenting outstanding exhibitions. These attract significant numbers of visitors to the region. This successful bid is excellent news for Tate Liverpool, allowing them to stage further blockbusters such as Picasso: Peace and Freedom, bringing significant benefits for the wider visitor economy."

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