Government grant of £264,414 for Turner Contemporary upgrade works

Turner Contemporary Photo Frank Leppard

A grant of £264,514 has been awarded to Kent County Council on behalf of Turner Contemporary.

The gallery is one of three organisations in Kent to get a share of £809,541 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England through its £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

The Capital Kickstart grants will help cover additional costs, caused by Covid-related delays or fundraising shortfalls.

Funding will support the gallery to complete its capital programme to improve the visitor experience and support its long-term future.

The gallery is now closed until February 2021 while the improvement works take place, which include a redesigned retail area which will showcase products and artworks from the gallery’s creative community, new and additional toilet facilities, new café furniture, installation of lighter doors to each of the galleries and faster Wi-Fi. The CCTV system will be upgraded, and a new finishing kitchen will improve the capacity of the café and enable it to stay open during events.

Turner Contemporary Credit Hufton + Crow

Improving the environmental efficiency of the building is central to the building works, including the replacement of halogen lighting with LED lighting which will greatly reduce electricity consumption and costs.

The aim is for the gallery to increase its financial resilience and provide a better experience for the thousands of visitors that it welcomes each year. An 86 space, fee charged car park to bring income into the gallery is also planned for a separate works project.

In February 2021, the gallery is expected to reopen for its 10th anniversary celebrations with a programme of new exhibitions and learning activities.

Grants were also made to Jasmin Vardimon Company and The Tunbridge Wells Cultural & Learning Hub

Cy Twombly canvases in the Journeys with the Waste Land exhibition previously at Turner Contemporary

Today’s (December 11) announcement follows several previous rounds of investment from the Culture Recovery Fund, which saw £428million distributed to over 2000 cultural organisations though the Grants programme, alongside the £3.36million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund. The financing announced today takes the total allocated from the Culture Recovery Fund over £1 billion, delivering on the government’s commitment to be here for culture in every corner of the country during this pandemic.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “This government promised it would be here for culture and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word.

“The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications.

“Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture – so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.”

Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary, said: “We are delighted that Arts Council England is providing additional financial support for Kent County Council’s capital improvements to Turner Contemporary through the Capital Kickstart Fund. These works will support the gallery’s future, as well as recognising the vital role of arts and creativity here in Kent. As we approach our tenth anniversary year in 2021, we look forward to reopening and welcoming audiences to our enhanced spaces.”

Michael Hill, OBE, Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, Kent County Council, added: “We are delighted to have been awarded investment from Arts Council England through the Cultural Capital Kickstart Fund to support the Turner Contemporary Capital Programme through the challenges faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This grant will help us meet the extra costs incurred as a result of the pandemic.

“These essential works will improve the visitor experience, as well as supporting the gallery’s long term future as it enters its tenth anniversary year.”