Funding Finally Secured For Margate's Turner Contemporary Gallery

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 25 July 2008
An architect's drawing of a new building

David Chipperfield's design for Margate's new Turner Contemporary gallery. © Imaging Atelier

Work will begin on Margate’s new seafront Turner Contemporary gallery in October. This announcement follows the granting of a further £8.1 million funding towards the project.

An Arts Council England (ACE) donation of £4.1m, along with £4 million from the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), will boost the total monies so far raised to £14.5 million. The whole project is expected to cost £17.4 million. Private sector funding is being sought to cover the remaining £2.9m.

Pam Alexander, Chief Executive of SEEDA, said: “Margate can now move ahead confidently with its plans for Turner Contemporary.”

The two-storey glass-clad building has been designed by Riba award winner, David Chipperfield. The current plans, for which planning permission was granted in February this year, replace the original innovative but controversial and costly floating design.

The gallery project aims to not only celebrate Turner but also to promote an understanding of the artist’s links with Margate. The gallery will also house British and international art from 1750 to the present.

In keeping with the innovations that Turner brought to artistic expression, the gallery also pledges a commitment to showing work by artists who are currently working at the cutting edge of current practice.

Sally Abbot, Director of Arts at ACE, said: “The gallery represents a huge achievement for artists and arts development in the south east and beyond.”

The project is also central to Margate’s regeneration, something acknowledged in SEEDA’s involvement and the previous decision of Kent County Council to grant £6.4 million towards the gallery’s construction. Land for the building has been donated by Thanet District Council.

Thanet Council Leader, Sandy Ezekial, endorsed the importance of the gallery in their plans: “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.”

Contractors are now being sought to begin the work in the autumn. It is hoped the new gallery will be open in 2010. Turner Contemporary is currently housed at two locations in the town: 53 – 57 The High Street and at Droit House

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