Friday, 6 August 2010


A targeted programme of work has been agreed to help prepare Margate for the opening of Turner Contemporary.

To help fund it, £100,000 from the Seaside Fund will be put into environmental improvements in the town, support for local businesses and marketing the town in the run up to opening and during the first six months of Turner Contemporary.

Cabinet Members were told last night (Thursday 5 August) that the opening of Turner Contemporary will give Margate a unique opportunity, with the focus of the world’s media on the town.

As part of the Creative Margate programme, the plan will identify the top 10 priority projects to work on for the next 12 months, which will focus on improving the area from the railway station up to Turner Contemporary. These include tackling eyesore buildings, such as the Arcadian and Fort Road Hotel, working with the owners of empty shops to develop innovative solutions to bring them back into use, along with tackling priority areas, such as the railway station forecourt. There will also be a range of small scale improvements, such as signage, lighting and to the seafront shelters.

To help support this, there will be a promotional campaign about Margate, along with a number of initiatives for local businesses. This includes extending the Thanet Ambassadors scheme, which has been rolled out over the last couple of months, to equip people who deal with visitors with background information about the area. There will also be business networking events and breakfast seminars.

Cllr. Roger Latchford, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “The opening of Turner Contemporary next year will present Margate with a chance to not only attract new visitors to the town, but to change people’s perceptions of it. The first few months, when those new visitors are coming into the area, will be critical. That’s why we need to focus our attention on preparing Margate for that. A huge amount of regeneration work has already taken place in the town in recent years, but we know there are still some key sites that need tackling. The last thing we want is for those to have an impact on people’s views of the town when they come to visit Turner Contemporary and that’s why we’re putting this programme of work in place, as the town begins to start counting down to the big opening day.”

Victoria Pomery, Director of Turner Contemporary, said: “It is vital that Margate is prepared to receive the thousands of visitors that Turner Contemporary will attract. Word of mouth is so important and we need these visitors to be leaving, having had a great experience of the town and telling friends, family and colleagues about what is happening here.”

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