Turner Contemporary secures funding for small scale capital scheme

Posted in – News

With the support of £495,000 from the Arts Council and investment of £1.28 million from Kent County Council, Turner Contemporary will realise a series of capital enhancements to the existing building. The ambition is to create an enhanced experience for the thousands who visit the gallery each year.

Alongside improved visitor facilities, which include redesign of the retail facilities and installation of new furniture, the work will also support improved environmental sustainability and enhancements to the digital infrastructure. The programme of works, undertaken in partnership with Kent County Council, will enable Turner Contemporary to build on its success to date and to increase its long-term financial resilience, in the context of significant financial 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 said:

“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”

 This investment follows almost 10 successful years of operation, in which Turner Contemporary has attracted 3.4million visits, established an international reputation for artistic and learning excellence and been a catalyst for the social and economic regeneration of Margate and East Kent. Turner Contemporary has surpassed all expectations, it was initially forecast to attract 150,000 visits per year, and instead achieves 375,000 – 400,000 per year. Audiences include individuals from the local community, school groups from across Kent, as well as national and international tourists. 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 envisaged that the works will be carried out over a phased period in 2020-21.

Notes to Editors:


Kent County Council (KCC) has been the prime sponsor of Turner Contemporary from its inception and continues to invest in culture and the creative industries, appreciating the benefits these bring to the local economy and communities. KCC sees culture as a driving force in attracting visitors to Kent, generating significant economic growth. This is especially true of Margate and its surrounding area, where Turner Contemporary has had a huge impact on the social and economic regeneration. KCC believes its investment in Turner Contemporary has encouraged significant private investment in Margate, with shops, restaurants and hotels all opening to support the regeneration of East Kent.


Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk