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Friday, March 31, 2006
Tate is frontrunner to host creativity centre
The Tate Modern in London has emerged as the hot favourite to house the soon-to-be-created National Centre for Creativity & Innovation. Other London contenders include the Argent's King's Cross development, Paddington and even the Thames Gateway, although this would probably be considered too remote. A northern centre will also be established, on the Quayside in Gateshead, between the Sage building and the Baltic.

The London Development Agency has commissioned a feasibility study from the Whetstone Group, and will be advised by an panel of experts - including Norman Foster, Tate director Nicholas Serota, Terence Conran and Design Council chief executive David Kester.

Tate Modern, which is to significantly extend its empire to designs by Herzog & de Meuron, is also tipped to house a new Design Museum, which will be moving out of its Thameside home on Butler's Wharf by 2012. The Design Council is likely to merge with the new centre, to create a significant new design centre for London. With the Architecture Foundation due to move into its Zaha Hadid-designed headquarters on nearby Southwark Street in 2007, this would create a new cultural hub on the south bank of the Thames.

LDA head of creative industries Graham Hitchen said: "The feasibility work at this stage is looking at what the centre could and should look like, what its relationship would be with the regional centres and agencies such as the Design Council, the Design Museum and other agencies in London, and the extent to which it might link up them." (via BD, subscribers only)

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