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Rebranding of £20m arts project

THE Turner Centre at Margate - Kent’s arts flagship project - has been renamed and rebranded in London today as Turner Contemporary.

The £20 million centre is due to open at Margate harbour in 2007 as an international centre for the visual arts.

Designed by Snohetta and Spence, the pod-like building will be on the stone pier, and will present a diverse programme of contemporary and historical art.

The new name was unveiled this morning at the Norwegian embassy in Belgrave Square to an invited audience.

Centre director Victoria Pomery said: “The programme will be stimulating, inspiring and appropriate. We are well aware of the responsibility that we owe Turner. Education, in the broadest sense, is at the heart of Turner Contemporary.”

A spokesman for the centre said: “The new identity was formed through a creative process involving staff at Turner Contemporary, stakeholders and members of the architectural team with professional input from Agenda Design.

“It was supported with funding from Arts Council England. The branding process has resulted in a new name but more importantly has helped us to clarify and articulate our role, values and vision.

“The name reflects more accurately what the gallery will programme and also relates closely to the design of the building. The link with JMW Turner, the reason why the gallery is being constructed in Margate, is being maintained.”

The project originally came to light in the late 1990s at an estimated cost of £7m with a provisional opening date of 2002. As costs have soared, the date has been progressively put back. The decision to rename the project that was officially known as the Turner Centre was only made public when the invitations to the rebranding ceremony were sent to the media.

Kent County Council has committed £5m and Arts Council England has earmarked £4.1 m to the scheme. Negotiations are underway with SEEDA and a range of other funders.

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