Tate museums are cutting ticket prices to £5 for anyone aged 16-25, after conceding that its blockbuster shows are unaffordable for many young people.
A ticket to Tate Modern’s current Picasso show costs £22 for an adult, or £20 for a student. Under the new Tate Collective scheme, the £5 tickets will be available for every paid-for exhibition.
Those who sign up to the free-to-join scheme can bring up to three friends with them, each paying £5 provided they are also 16-25 years old.
The tickets will be available to visitors from around the world, and also provide discounts in Tate’s cafes and shops.
At present, less than 10 per cent of visitors to paid-for exhibition are in this age group, although for free events such as Uniqlo Tate Lates the figure can be above 50 per cent.
Maria Balshaw, director of Tate, said there are “affordability issues” for all generations, but targeting the young is crucial.
“It’s a generation who are entering an adult world of increasing wealth disparity, high house prices, increasing costs of higher education, entry level jobs that rarely keep up with the cost of living,” Balshaw said, adding that she hoped those signing up to the scheme will be “visitors for the rest of their lives”.
The initiative is backed by Matt Hancock, the Culture Secretary, who said it should “be a marker for how we improve our great artistic institutions for years to come”.
Tate is also hiring a young trustee to represent “the views of the next generation”. Currently, its youngest trustee is 48.
Under equalities legislation, Tate cannot specify an age limit for the new appointee but Balshaw said they must be able to show a “commitment, connection and real insight” into the generation born after 1978.