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Downturn threatens Tate Modern and British Museum extensions

Planned extensions designed by Richard Rogers and Herzog & de Meuron could be under threat

Barbara Follett, the culture minister told the Times that £22.5 million promised to the £135 million British Museum scheme in December 2007 was no longer guaranteed.

Follett also acknowledged that other schemes could also suffer. ‘There are too many shemes bidding for too little money,’ she said.

‘There are several excellent schemes that will help with the economy, would be a stimulus and will create more jobs and wonderful visitor attractions,’ said Follett. ‘We just have to weigh them up.’

In December 2007 James Purnell, then Culture Secretary, announced more than £70 million in state support for the Tate Modern and British Museum expansion schemes.

Tate Modern has received the first instalment of a promised £50 million towards a £215 million brick and glass extension that will increase space by 60 per cent. So far about a third of the total funds are pledged, more than half of it from the government.

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