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Turner Contemporary in Margate to close for five months for upgrade works costing £1.8 million

Turner Contemporary will shut its doors for five months for essential maintenance work to the building costing £1.8 million.

The gallery in Margate will be closed from September 7 until the end of January 2021 while the upgrades take place which will include improved access and toilets, a fee-charging car park with 86 spaces, upgrades to the kitchen and shop, and new signs.

Turner Contemporary will be closed for five months while upgrades take place (Credit Hufton and Crow)
Turner Contemporary will be closed for five months while upgrades take place (Credit Hufton and Crow)

A finishing kitchen will also be installed to support event catering and promote venue hire.

The project is being paid for by a £1.28m investment from Kent County Council and £495,000 from Arts Council England.

A spokesman for the gallery said: "The works will enable the gallery to build on its success, increase its financial resilience and provide a better experience for the thousands of visitors that Turner Contemporary welcomes each year.

"In the context of significant financial challenges for small-scale arts charities, the works will include increased environmental sustainability, enhanced digital infrastructure, improved facilities for visitors as well as plans that maximise opportunities to generate vital income.

"The reach of Turner Contemporary has always extended beyond the building.

The Turner Contemporary will close for five months
The Turner Contemporary will close for five months

"There will be significant artworks in place by this point, which have been commissioned by Turner Contemporary in partnership with other leading cultural organisations.

"This includes Conrad Shawcross's work as part of Pioneering Places in Ramsgate and Michael Rakowitz's work as part of England's Creative Coast in Margate, along with six other new commissions stretching along the South East Coast.

"Antony Gormley's Another Time, is also scheduled to remain in Margate until November 2020. Our commission of Tracey Emin’s ‘I never stopped loving you’ neon which features on Droit House will remain in place.

"These projects are designed to expand and strengthen the visitor offer further."

The spokesman says gallery bosses are working with KCC to minimise the disruption to the organisation, its audiences and the wider area.

"The capital works are designed to pave the way towards long term sustainability and enable the organisation to thrive so that it can continue to drive economic and social benefit for the town," she said.

"The year 2021 marks our 10th anniversary and we are planning an ambitious year of celebration."

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