Published: 17:46, 14 October 2008
Another significant milestone has been reached in the long-awaited plans to build the £17million Turner Centre with the appointment of a firm to carry out its construction - and its a Kent-based one.
Kent County Council has handed the contract to R Durtnell and Sons Limited, which is thought to be the oldest building company in the country. Work is expected to begin on the Margate project later this year.
The news has been welcomed by KCC, which is behind the project, and the Arts Council, which is helping to fund it. The company was selected through a formal tendering process.
The Sevenoaks-based company has wide experience in all types of private and publicly funded building contracts. It is also experienced in the specialist restoration and renovation of historic buildings.
The distinctive building has been designed by renowned architect David Chipperfield.
Cllr Mike Hill (Con) KCC cabinet member for communities, said: "Working with this team, which includes David Chipperfield Architects, Thanet District Council, Arts Council England, South East and SEEDA, shows how important this development is to regenerating Margate and providing a first class gallery in the south east."
Sally Abbott, Arts Council England director said: "This is an exciting step in the journey to creating a world class art gallery in Kent.
"Our support for Turner Contemporary through this flagship capital project and its excellent artistic programme represents a critical milestone in the development of a cultural offer for the people of Kent and beyond."