Five month closure at Turner Contemporary for £2 million upgrade

Turner Contemporary Photo Frank Leppard

Turner Contemporary will be closed for a £2 million project of major building works from Monday, September 7 until  the end of January 2021.

The work will include maintenance and upgrades with the creation of an 86 space, fee charged car park to bring income into the gallery, a finishing kitchen – to cater for events and conferences- and shop upgrades, install LED lighting to reduce running costs, carry out a broadband upgrade and introduce AV equipment .

There will also be automatic front and gallery doors to improve access, and increased and upgraded toilets, new signs, a CCTV upgrade and external storage.

Photo Frank Leppard

Kent County Council is funding £1.5million of the work with a £495,000 contribution from Arts Council England..

The works come after almost 10 years of operation, in which Turner Contemporary has attracted 3.5million visits.

A Turner Contemporary spokesperson said: “These works will enable the gallery to build on its success, increase its financial resilience and provide a better experience for the thousands of visitors that Turner Contemporary welcomes each year.

“In the context of significant financial challenges for small-scale arts charities, the works will include; increased environmental sustainability, enhanced digital infrastructure, improved facilities for visitors as well as plans that maximise opportunities to generate vital income.

Artist Conrad Shawcross with Ramsgate pupils at Jacob’s Ladder

“The reach of Turner Contemporary has always extended beyond the building. There will be significant artworks in place by this point, which have been commissioned by Turner Contemporary in partnership with other leading cultural organisations. These include Conrad Shawcross’s work as part of Pioneering Places in Ramsgate and Michael Rakowitz’s work as part of England’s Creative Coast in Margate, along with 6 other new commissions stretching along the South East Coast.

Photo by Sue Fewings

Anthony Gormley’s Another Time, is also scheduled to remain in Margate until November 2020. Our commission of Tracey Emin’s ‘I never stopped loving you’ neon which features on Droit House will remain in place. These projects are designed to expand and strengthen the visitor offer further.

“We are working with KCC to minimise the disruption to the organisation, our audiences and the wider area. The capital works are designed to pave the way towards long term sustainability and enable the organisation to thrive so that it can continue to drive economic and social benefit for the town.”

Next year, 2021, marks the gallery’s  10th anniversary year and an ambitious programme of celebrations is planned.

Kent County Council agrees to move ahead with £2million Turner Contemporary upgrade


    • The Turner is a gallery, not a dump. I don’t like football but I don’t call a football stadium a dump and wouldn’t even if my local council funded it.

      But if KCC wants the Turner to have more visitors I suggest it spends money on improving public transport and not on catparks. Why not fund a shuttle bus from Margate station instead? That would help the public whether or not they were visiting the Turner.

      • The difference between a football stadium and the dump of the turner gallery is that one is a business and self funding, the other is a charity.

        A shuttle service? You do talk rubbish. Do you know the funding that must be invested into a shuttle service, for that short distance? No, it’s a lot. Who will pay for it? The tax payer. Walk or use the taxi rank.

        Same as you don’t and still don’t understand that Stagecoach is a business, it can’t be expected to operate loss making routes, which you and sleepy Barry Lewis still moan about, even to those date.


          Kathy Bailes, do you think it’s all right to let this person pursue his or her strange vendetta against Barry Lewis and me in the IOTN comments?

          • Is your caps lock key stuck on?

            Everyone is entitled to their own independent view, free speech is a right in this country.

            If you don’t like it, don’t return, simple as that. No need to cry about it.

            I simply hold you and sleepy Barry Lewis to account for what you say. No different to any other comments and replies.


      • Totally agree ,when local authorities such as Brighton are adopting less cars. This leading international gallery is providing car spaces, a bus stop far more in tune with today’s world, the car parking spaces seem all too convenient for the hotel opposite opening soon

    • Me too.

      We should not be ploughing tax payers money (which we cannot afford) into a charity.

      Sleepy Barry Lewis is still no where to be seen to explain why he decided to vote in favour of more funding.

    • Completely agree with you.

      Shut it down or keep it how it is, but don’t put more tax payers money into this charity that we simply cannot afford.

  1. What a waste of taxpayers money. The money would be better used to help keep the Stroke Unit at the QEQM Hospital.

    • It’s complete different funds and companies. KCC don’t own the hospital, they have nothing to do with it.

      In future, know what you’re talking about

  2. Oh look… Sleepy Barry Lewis, no where to be seen. He voted for the TC to receive additional funding, so where is he to explain his actions?

    Answer: Running away, just like Labour did at the election.

  3. It’s a great pity that some of the sad Os who constantly wine on here about anything that is good for THANET are not sent to a taxidermist so they themselves could be used as exhibits at the Turner Centre, members of the public could then have good look of what no hopers actually look like. The Turner Centre has brought millions of pounds into THANET.

  4. 3.5million visits.

    3.5million visits.

    and yet it has to survive on tax’s payer money in this day and age when money is tight it should be standing on its own feet.3.5 million vistors and not one of them have paid a bloody penny towards its upkeep, that is a disgrace.

    And why does it need a 2 million pound upgrade it has only been open less than 10 years !! why wasn’t it built to last more than 10 years in the first place ??

    • Shouldn’t the roads stand on their own feet? Why should £Ms of tax payers’ money be poured into a scheme that only available to motorists?
      At least the Turner is accessible by anyone.

      • Why should the tax payer pay for the initial cost AND continue to pay for it’s renovation and maintenance?

        It’s a charity. It should be self funding.

        Nothing to do with motorist’s, so not sure why you bring that up.

        • Because motorists (note no apostrophe needed) don’t themselves pay for the roads and motorways they drive on (unless they use a toll road)
          You’re arguing that visitors (no apostrophe) should pay directly to visit the Turner.
          I’m arguing that, similarly, motorists should pay directly to use the roads they drive on.
          Sauce for goose etc.
          I’m sorry if you weren’t able to understand my posting: I’ll try and spell it out more simply next time.

  5. Tony

    I think you will find motorists pay road tax and fuel tax to drive on the roads. Where as you arty people pay nothing towards your shed which in less than 10yrs of being open needs a 2 million face lift.

      • Tony

        Road tax ok car tax I still pay over 300 quid a year and pay tax every time I fill my car up …..yet the Turner centre with over 3.5million doest even try to make it’s own way just relies on handouts, which is wrong

        • The point that Tony is trying to make, I think, is that everyone (more or less) pays taxes. Not everyone drives. Not everyone visits museums.
          Or do you think a more liberal regime should apply to motorists (who don’t visit museums) rather than “arty” types (who don’t drive)?

          • Andrew

            that is true everyone who works pays tax if you are well of you avoid paying taxes !

            As a car owner I pay over 300 quid a year to be on the road and I pay taxes every time I put fuel in.

            yet (if) I went to the turner centre I don’t have a to pay a penny towards an entrance fee, the up keep, the staff wages , I pay nothing but my taxes are spent on this. I have no choice my taxes go on the up keep, wages etc of a Charity that is wrong full stop. Why does a Charity get taxes payers money. It should charge an entrance fee, which would enable the shed to claim 25% extra (of the fee) from the government.

            in this day and age when families are going hungry, people living on the streets , high private rent, little social housing, lack of well paid jobs etc that 2 million is found to fund a charity for art. We need to start looking all sections of society.

  6. How do you know that Tony is an “arty person”? He might be, and he might be a “drivey person” too, they’re not incompatible.

  7. If “drivey people” don’t visit art galleries there’s no point in making a new 86 -space carpark next to the Turner!

    • guess you are right Marva they wouldnt want the leave their Bentley, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini Porsche or range rover in a public car park much safer to have it parked outside the shed. Perhaps a good business opportunity for our local scallies to charge a quid to ‘look’ after them !

    • What shed is “very big nose” referring to?

      I don’t think he or she can know many people who visit art galleries if he or she thinks that a) they’ve all got a car and b) these cars they all have are expensive ones.

      Oh! I see! The “shed” is the Turner!

  8. “ Oh the poor taxpayers “ Cry cry cry. Get real people, do you really think if your your money wasn’t spent on this project the tax man would knock on your door like the postcode lottery team and give you a cheque …….of course not. Let them spend the money as they wish…….stop moaning. You had your say at the last election.

  9. must be nice to be well of with a fat pension and have your hobby paid for by the working classes. It has had 3.5 million people go throu its doors and not one penny raise from that footfall is a disgrace. It should at least pay something towards it up keep, why does art get a free ride ?. And now less than ten years after opening it needs another 2 million spending on it. just think if the entrance fee was just a quid the Turner Centre (shed) would of taken 3.5 million pounds in under ten years , but no that keep it free to the art people and than go to the working classes and get them to pay. Fair ??

    • Why is there a freeze on petrol for motorists while train and bus fares rise considerably every year? Considering how harmful the private car is, motorists should be paying a lot.

      Working-class people do go to art galleries and museums! Entry to the Turner is free to all who visit and if they want to make a donation, they can.

      • but why is it free ? its a charity and should be trying to make money thats what a charity does by charging a fee it could gain an extra 25% on top of the fees from government.
        Instead its just a toy thing for the art community, the things that are called art could have been done by a 5 year old, take those guy fork dolls things. Art don’t make be laugh.
        If people want to look at this ‘art’ than pay for it. If I want to go to see a rock group or something at the winter gardens I have to pay, why cant that be free ? if I want to see a film I have to pay for it, why cant that be free ?
        I really dont understand why the art community get a free ride of rate payers. Serious questions need to be asked as to why this charity needs another 2 million pounds less than ten years after opening, Why wasnt this building built to last longer than tens before needing another 2 million spent on it.
        I guess if this charity knows its going to be bailed out time after time than no need to run it properly.
        The only thing this shed has brought to thanet is a few arty shops around a 200 meter area from it. I have meet a few people who have been there and i know they earn 6 figure salary yet us tax payers pay for the art !! most art people can afford a ten pound entrance fee.

        £10×3.5million= £35,000,000 yet this charity made nothing !!

        or perhaps the real reason they don’t charge is because the know only about 35 people per year !!

Comments are closed.