Turner Prize 2019 winner announcement celebrations at Turner Contemporary and Dreamland

Turner Contemporary Photo Frank Leppard

The winner of the 2019 Turner Prize will be announced tomorrow (December 3) during a glittering awards ceremony at Dreamland.

The winner will be announced live on BBC News at Ten to an audience of ten million people in a televised ceremony held in Hall-by-the-Sea. The event will have some 500 guests.

As part of the celebrations specialist contractors, Coombs (Canterbury) Ltd, in partnership with Thanet District Council, will be bringing history to life in the 1935 entrance halls of the famous seafront building which will act as a walkway to Hall-by-the-Sea. This entrance route has not been used for 30 years.

Coombs, which was responsible for major restoration and redevelopment works at Dreamland between 2009 and 2017 were on site last month installing lighting, handrails and knocking a wall down between the back of the vacant Cinema building and the Hall-by-the Sea.

Nick Bushell, Contracts Manager at Coombs, who also lives in Margate, said: “Dreamland has a unique position in history and in the memories of generations of local people. We’re pleased to be once again working with Thanet District Council and Dreamland and hope to give guests of the 2019 Turner Prize awards ceremony a taster of what the grand entrance route was like.

“As a local resident, like many of our team and members of our supply chain who worked on the previous phases, it’s been rewarding to be involved at Dreamland and directly contribute to such an important part of our local community.”

The Grade II* listed Dreamland Cinema opened in 1935 to wide acclaim. It is a unique combination of Northern-European Expressionist brickwork and American-style neon signage.

One of the purposes of the Cinema design was to provide a grand ceremonial entrance to the Dreamland Ballroom which opened in the 1880s and has seen many famous acts in its 135 year history. The entrance route took guests past the Dreamland Bars and the Sunshine Cafe, through a top-lit ticket hall, past the stalls of the Cinema and down a wide staircase with a view of the Ballroom stage. The whole sequence was designed to impress the visitor.

In 1977, the ballroom was converted into squash courts. The ceremonial route was blocked in 1990, and subsequently the stalls foyer was filled with partitions. The ballroom, now called the Hall-by-the-Sea, sits within the Dreamland amusement park and hosts music and leisure events for thousands of revellers throughout the year.

Tim Willis, Deputy Chief Executive at Thanet District Council said: “We are incredibly proud of Dreamland’s rich history and grateful to Coombs for agreeing to do this work and give guests a trip down memory lane.

“Described as the heartbeat of Margate, Dreamland is considered the oldest surviving amusement park in the UK dating back to the early 1860s. Hosting the Turner Prize Awards Ceremony is another great coup for the park and helps celebrate Thanet as a key cultural destination.”

Oscar Murillo, Turner Prize 2019, courtesy Turner Contemporary and the artist. Photograph by David Levene 

The Turner Prize is one of the best known prizes for the visual arts in the world and the exhibition has attracted over 90,000 visitors since opening to the public on  September 28.

This year’s winner will be announced by Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue, Edward Enninful OBE.

The members of the Turner Prize 2019 jury are Alessio Antoniolli, Director, Gasworks & Triangle Network; Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director of The Showroom Gallery and Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths; Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary, Margate and Charlie Porter, writer. The jury is chaired by Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain.

Tai Shani, Turner Prize 2019 entry, courtesy Turner Contemporary and the artist. Photograph by David Levene 

The shortlisted artists are Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani. Their work is on show at Turner Contemporary until January 12, 2020. Entry is free.

The Turner Prize, named after artist JMW Turner (1775-1851), aims to promote public interest in contemporary British art. It is awarded to a British artist for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in past 12 months. The Turner Prize award is £40,000 with £25,000 going to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists.

Helen Cammock, Turner Prize 2019, courtesy Turner Contemporary and the artist. Photograph by David Levene 

Turner Contemporary will host a day of celebratory activities with the gallery open 10am – 5pm. Art Rebels workshops take place from 10am – 1pm, inspired by each of the Turner Prize 2019 nominees.

There will also be a BBC Radio 6 music takeover between 10.30am-1pm with Mary Anne Hobbs hosting her show live at Turner Contemporary.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, After SFX, 2018. Turner Prize 2019 at Turner Contemporary, Margate 2019. Photo by Stuart Leech

Guests include former Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey, performance artist Theo Adams, who is a longtime collaborator of FKA twigs and currently directing her world tour, and Scottish multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper will join Mary Anne for a unique live performance.

Beyond the gallery, explore Margate NOW, an exciting programme of art, events and performances taking place during Turner Prize 2019.


  1. Who cares? Load of self important port riddled tory voting chinless geeks. Might as well be tory conference. By the way people, you’re paying for this b******. Hope your going to vote next week to get a government that will put things right after almost 10 years of 21st century Thatcherism, dressed up as austerity.

  2. Dreamland is an irreplaceable example of Art Deco architecture,
    Why has it been allowed to be vandalized like this?

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