Published: 13:23, 13 February 2018
Margate's Turner Contemporary has been granted significant funding, with sights set on increasing tourism levels.
The award-winning gallery has received £500,000 from Arts Council England to create a series of new artworks to showcase the south east's cultural offer and increase the number of international and domestic tourists visiting the region.
The boost comes as part of the council's £3.28 million cultural destinations programme for a new cultural project.
The south east’s art galleries will come together with leading artists and tourism businesses to create a unique new cultural ‘treasure hunt’ trail to tempt visitors to the region.
The trail combines original new artwork commissions by internationally renowned artists, geocaching GPS technology, new bookable itineraries and an artist-led accommodation offer.
Turner Contemporary will lead the project with Visit Kent (Go To Places), who have been awarded £350,000 for the project from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund, administered by VisitEngland.
This is the first time the gallery will commission leading UK and international artists to create artworks across the whole of the South East region, with the aim to mobilise visitors across the Creative Coast.
Turner Contemporary will work with partners Creative Foundation, De La Warr Pavilion, Jerwood Gallery, Metal, Towner Art Gallery and Whitstable Biennale on the project.
Director of Turner Contemporary Victoria Pomery OBE said: “We’re delighted to have secured culture destinations funding.
"By truly putting arts and culture at the core of the project, we aim to create a unique, cohesive visitor offer which celebrates our distinctive coastline and significantly grows the visitor economy for the region.
"This ambitious project will create an experiential trail, relevant to key markets, through digital technologies and partnerships across the South East.”
Targeted at French and Dutch tourists and UK visitors, the project will create a new digital foot, cycle and train trail through Essex, Kent and East Sussex.
Along the route, visitors will be able to find the new original artworks and log treasure containers - ‘geocaches’.
They will be able to book experiences in each of the destinations such as tours and artists talks, and the project will trial a new accommodation offer, allowing visitors to visit and stay in artists’ homes and studios.
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