Two Margate art venues scoop more than £3m from Arts Council England

Open School East

Funding has been granted to Turner Contemporary and Open School East by Arts Council England.

The two venues in Margate and Cliftonville are among 831 organisations to receive a share of £1.6billion in the National Portfolio Organisations scheme.

The funding will be paid between 2018 and 2022. 183 new organisations joined the portfolio meaning they will receive regular funding for the first time. Open School East in Margate is one of the new organisations to gain this status.

Plans at Turner Contemporary

Photo Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary will receive £2.67million, paid in installments of just over £669k over the four years.

The funding is to develop and deliver a Digital Transformation Programme which will offer further creative challenges for a range of artists as well as innovative opportunities to develop and engage with audiences, locally and globally.

Clive Stevens, Chair of Turner Contemporary said: “We are delighted to be part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. It is particularly exciting to have been  successful in securing additional investment for our digital ambitions which will enable us to remain connected, cutting edge and relevant.

“We are looking forward to what promises to be a hugely exciting next four years –  giving more people than ever before the opportunity to experience great art and culture here at Turner  Contemporary.”

Open School East

Open School East is a space for artistic learning that opened its doors in Margate earlier this year. It supports the development of emerging artists’ talent and offers a programme of events and activities that are free and open to all, locally and beyond.

The organisation was awarded £360,000 to be paid at £90,000 per year.

Anna Colin and Laurence Taylor, co-founders of Open School East, said: “We are proud that Arts Council England has confidence in our plans for the future here in Thanet. With the support of the community; Thanet District Council and Kent County Council, we will contribute to Margate’s burgeoning cultural scene and will be opening up training and creative opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds.”


Cllr Hunter Stummer-Schmertzing, Thanet council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Enterprise Services said: “On behalf of Thanet District Council, I would like congratulate Open School East on achieving this funding award.  It is fantastic that Open School East is cementing roots and investing in Thanet and it promises to deliver some amazing opportunities for developing artists.

“It is a key council priority to promote inward investment and job creation as well as develop the skills agenda, for the benefit of the whole community. This funding will further enhance the area’s economy and help further support the growing number of creative businesses choosing to make Thanet their home.

“It is also great to see funding go to  Turner Contemporary which has helped Thanet’s economy immensely since its opening.

“In recent years, Thanet has been shown to be a great place to live and work, with significant growth in the creative and digital business sector and many artists and IT specialists amongst others, making their base here.”