LONDON — Britain’s Tate group of art galleries says director Nicholas Serota is stepping down after 28 years in charge.

The government says Serota has been appointed chairman of Arts Council England, which distributes funds to cultural organizations, starting in February 2017.

Serota oversaw a period of huge expansion for Tate, whose galleries include London’s Tate Modern and Tate Britain and branches in Liverpool and St. Ives.

Tate Modern opened in 2000 and has become the world’s most-visited modern art museum, attracting more than 5 million people a year.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said Thursday that Serota had made Tate “one of the leading art institutions in the world.”

His departure follows the resignations of British Museum director Neil MacGregor in December and Victoria and Albert Museum director Martin Roth last week.