The works from the project by award-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron of a new development of the Tate modern will start in mid 2009 and it is intended that the new building will be completed in time for the London Olympics Games in 2012.
A spectacular new building will be created on the south side of the existing gallery to provide more space for modern and contemporary art and enable Tate to enrich its programme by exploring new areas of contemporary visual culture.
Facilities for young people will be central to the new development and learning and visit for engagement will be at its heart.
The success of Tate Modern has made the new development necessary in order to accommodate around 5 million visitors a year that come to the present building which was originally designed for half that number.
The project will act as a catalyst for the further regeneration of the South Bank, encouraging its impact to spread further southwards into Southwark.
The project will create a new landmark for London, helping to maintain its position as the leading cultural and creative capital of the world.