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Turner Contemporary set for £7 million expansion on Margate seafront

Turner Contemporary

The Margate art gallery is considering a multi-million pound renovation scheme, which includes an extension and enlarging the art spaces.

Kent County Council (KCC) produced a report that the David Chipperfield-designed building needed to improve its facilities.

“Turner Contemporary has outgrown the space in its current building and over the last (six) years of operations, staff have been able to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the current facility.”

The scheme entitled the Turner Contemporary Phase 2, is aimed at bringing the building “up to a standard where it will be able to maintain its position as a leading national gallery and catalyst for regeneration,” reads the KCC statement.

“The next phase of Turner Contemporary will be designed to ensure that the organisation is sustainable into the future,” said gallery director Victoria Pomery.

“After six years of operation and 2.5 million visits, the gallery has been widely acknowledged as the model of arts-led regeneration.”

No specific proposals have been suggested so far, reported Kent Online.

However, a spokesperson for Turner Contemporary confirmed the gallery is working on ideas for the suggested expansion. Arts Council England is backing the scheme and has already approved a £3 million stage-one grant application. 

Turner Contemporary
Tracey Emin to return to Margate home.

Turner Contemporary’s waterfront home, which opened in 2001, cost around £17.5 million  to build. Since its inception, the art gallery has been hailed as the trigger for a cultural regeneration of Kent.

Turner Contemporary a jewel in the local crown

It’s estimated that £58m in revenues was generated, thanks to the popularity of the Turner Contemporary. According to an academic study by Canterbury Christ Church University, around 960,000 people have visited the art gallery who would not have otherwise have travelled to the seaside town. Around 80,00 of these visitors had never been to an art gallery before.

The gallery faces economically difficult times ahead as the KCC and the Arts Centre for England (ACE) are tasked with decreasing the subsidies to the art gallery.

Artist Tracey Emin, whose hometown is Margate, revealed that she will be moving back to her childhood seaside location. Speaking to artnet News, Emin said: “With the influx of creative people coming here en masse, I think Margate has got a really good chance of being a fantastic creative epicentre,” she said. 

Images: Turner Contemporary

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