New £20 note featuring Margate and JMW Turner unveiled at Turner Contemporary


The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has unveiled the design of the new £20 note featuring the artist JMW Turner at Turner Contemporary today (October 10).

A large see-through window with a blue and gold foil on the front depicts Turner Contemporary and the Margate lighthouse, among other elements associated with the artist. The new £20 note will be issued for the first time on February 20, 2020.

Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary said: “We are thrilled to feature on the new £20 note which centres on Turner Contemporary’s namesake, JMW Turner (1775 – 1851), who was a regular visitor to Margate in his lifetime.

“Turner’s legacy runs through everything we do – from our architecture, to our world-class programme of contemporary and historical exhibitions to our work with children and young people. Turner Contemporary has been the catalyst for social and economic regeneration in Margate. As we approach our 10th anniversary, we remain committed to ensuring that our work continues to transform people and place in exciting, ambitious and innovative ways.”

Photo Bank of England

Mark Carney added: “Our banknotes celebrate the UK’s heritage, salute its culture, and testify to the achievements of its most notable individuals. And so it is with the new £20 banknote, featuring JMW Turner, launched today at Turner Contemporary in Margate. Turner’s contribution to art extends well beyond his favourite stretch of shoreline. Turner’s painting was transformative, his influence spanned lifetimes, and his legacy endures today. The new £20 note celebrates Turner, his art and his legacy in all their radiant, colourful, evocative glory.”

Turner Contemporary  is credited with injecting £70million directly into the Kent economy and receiving 3.3million visits since 2011, far exceeding the initial projections of 150,000 visits per year.


  1. The Margate bit is the lighthouse.Mostly it is of the 2nd rate 90 gun battleship HMS Temeraire being towed to the breakers yard at Rotherhithe in 1838.Turner used artistic licence as there were two tugs and they were working up steam to the east and not west as shown here.
    Let’s not be curmudgeonly and give Ms Pomeroy OBE some Turner reflective sunshine even though it is coming from the wrong direction.

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