Attractions industry news

02 Nov 2017

Culture boost for Margate as Turner Contemporary plans £5.3m expansion

The David Chipperfield-designed Turner Contemporary is set to undergo a £5.3m (US$7m, €6m) expansion, new plans have revealed.

A spokesperson confirmed to Attractions Management that discussions with partners and funders had begun, with the gallery now developing ideas for the attraction.

Arts Council England (ACE) has already committed £3m (US$4m, €3.4m) to the plan and Kent County Council will also play a major part in financing the extension, with the authority acting as a partner on the project.

“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.”

Opened in 2011, the £17.5m (US$23.2m, €20m) Turner Contemporary is part of Margate’s growing culture sector, which also includes recent projects such as heritage theme park Dreamland, driving an increase in visitor numbers for the seaside town.

The Turner has played a significant part in reviving the local economy, generating an estimated £58m (US$77m, €65.9m) for Margate since opening, drawing nearly a million extra visitors to the town.

If plans are approved, the expansion could be completed by April 2021, according to the Council, which stated that the Turner had “outgrown the space in its current building”.

A proposal is yet to be put forward by the institution but early ideas include a new building on the seafront adjacent to the existing gallery or the conversion of an existing building.

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