Turner Contemporary gains £1.7 million funding for gallery building improvements

Turner Contemporary Photo Frank Leppard

Turner Contemporary has been awarded £495,000 from the Arts Council and given £1.28 million from Kent County Council to make improvements to the gallery.

The cash will pay for improved visitor facilities, which include a redesign of the shop area and installation of new furniture. The work will also support improved environmental sustainability and enhancements to the digital facilities.

The programme of works, undertaken in partnership with Kent County Council, will enable Turner Contemporary to increase its long-term financial future in the face of monetary challenges for small-scale arts charities.

Clive Stevens, Chair of Turner Contemporary said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded the funding to deliver a Small Scale Capital project in partnership with Kent County Council and Arts Council England.

“The capital programme will enhance the visitor experience for the thousands of individuals that visit Turner Contemporary each year. As we approach our 10th anniversary in 2021, this project will also support our  ongoing sustainability as we work to ensure that Turner Contemporary continues to thrive and drive the regeneration of Margate and East Kent.”

Michael Hill, OBE, Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services added: “Kent County Council continues to support Turner Contemporary and its success to date. We recognise its growth aspirations, and the vast benefits that culture and the creative industries bring to the local economy.

“We are delighted with the news of funding from Arts Council England and look forward to working in partnership with both Turner Contemporary and Arts Council England to realise the capital programme”

The investment follows almost 10 years of operation, in which Turner Contemporary has attracted 3.4million visits.  The gallery was initially forecast to attract 150,000 visits per year, and instead achieves 375,000 – 400,000 per year.

The gallery is currently hosting the most prestigious prize for contemporary arts in the world, Turner Prize 2019.

Turner Contemporary is working with KCC to ensure that any disruption to the gallery’s activity is minimised. Project details are currently being finalised and it is ex[ected that the works will be carried out over a phased period in 2020-21.

Read here: Early designs for Turner Contemporary expansion revealed