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Huge cash boost for Turner project

The latest artist's impression of the new Turner Contemporary
The latest artist's impression of the new Turner Contemporary

An £8.1 million cash injection for the proposed Turner Contemporary art centre at Margate has been welcomed.

Key partners in the scheme - SEEDA (The South East England Development Agency) and the Arts Council for England - have pledged to £4 million and £4.1 million respectively for the flagship complex at the town’s historic harbour.

Kent County Council is to put up a further £6.4 million, with the remaining £2.9 million being sought from the private sector to complete the £17.5 million idea.

Designed by architects David Chipperfield as a three-storey, 20-metre tall building positioned on a plinth and clad in opaque white glass, it is due to open by 2011 and building work is planned to start in October.

~ Listen: Cllr Sandy Ezekiel, leader of Thanet district council, Dave Kinnear, co-ordinator of Margate Town Partnership and Lee Amor, executive director at SEEDA, talk to kmfm about what this means for the local area >>>

Thanet council leader Cllr Sandy Ezekiel said: "The council are working hard to regenerate Margate’s old town and it is being transformed into a vibrant new cultural quarter. Much of that work has been because of the prospect of Turner Contemporary, which shows the impact it is already having on Margate and the town’s regeneration."

Margate Town Partnership co-ordinator Dave Kinnear said: “Let’s get on and get the gallery built. The funding pledge will create more commercial interest from potential inward investors. This is what traders in the town have been waiting for."

Pam Alexander, chief executive of SEEDA and chair of the Margate Renewal Partnership said: “The SEEDA board is pleased to support this world class opportunity to bring culture-led regeneration to Margate, reinforcing the investments that SEEDA has already made in the town centre. “We see this as a great opportunity to boost the town’s economic development, bringing jobs and business to the community and supporting the cultural and creative businesses that are already making Margate’s old town their home.”

Sally Abbott, director of arts at Arts Council England, South East, said: ”This will be a landmark building representing a huge achievement for artists and arts development in the south east and beyond. This is an exciting time for the project and we look forward to working with all the stakeholders locally and nationally to make the vision a successful reality.”


• Turner Contemporary celebrates the artist JMW Turner’s links with Margate and promotes the understanding and enjoyment of historical and contemporary visual art. In the new gallery, works by Turner will be shown together with British and international art from 1750 to the present day. In addition to a Turner presence, there is a commitment to show work by artists who demonstrate a major contribution to current practice and who challenge and stretch the boundaries of our understanding of art and the way we perceive the world around us.

• Planning permission was granted for the new gallery for Turner Contemporary in February this year and work is currently underway to appoint the contractor who will work with David Chipperfield Architects on the landmark building which will be built on Margate’s seafront.

• The two-storey gallery building, formed of six interlocking blocks and clad in glass, will feature a total of 750sq metres of gallery space. There will be a studio for educational purposes, a multifunctional space for talks, screenings and other events, café and shop.

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