North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale, has today described as "courageous and right" the decision, announced jointly by KCC Leader Paul Carter and TDC Leader Sandy Ezekiel to discontinue the current proposal to build the Turner Contemporary and to progress a "Turner Alternative" on shore on the Rendezvous site adjacent to Margate Harbour.
"I believe that future generations will thank those who have taken this decision" says the MP. "Escalating costs and differences of engineering opinion militate against the current project. Far better to seize this opportunity to deliver much greater regenerative improvement for the money available.
I see today not as the end of the Turner project but as the launch of a Margate Waterfront development that will include a potentially award-winning Turner Gallery, a hotel other business opportunities and, very possibly, the re-furbishment of the old stone pier and of the Winter Gardens as a modern business and conference centre of the kind so needed in the South East. This is a very exciting prospect indeed".
Commenting on the assertion that money had been wasted developing the Turner Centre the MP added:
"It is a pity that some are determined to take a negative approach and to regard the money spent to date as `money wasted` rather than as an investment. The fact is that the investment to date has had an enormous effect on confidence in business and property in the Old Town and deprived area of Cliftonville West and has led to the refurbishment of shops and houses in the area in addition, of course, to the investment in the Droit House as a facility in its own right.
We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have taken the artistic development behind the Turner project this far and I trust and believe that with the pledged support of KCC, TDC, SEEDA and the Arts Council we will see more than their dreams realised in the not too distant future".