Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Turner Contemporary Re-location

Is this correct, have they really changed their minds?
Councillor Clive Hart writes:

“The news that KCC are to re-site the Turner Contemporary building on land is a victory for common sense that has taken KCC far too long to recognise.

I simply cannot believe that the KCC leadership have allowed this project to run totally out of control for so long. Some of us here locally have been warning of the threat the escalating costs have brought to the project ever since the decision to site the gallery in the sea. These anxieties were magnified further by the change of the proposed construction from concrete to steel but no one leading the project at KCC would listen to genuine concerns even when we had the farcical events surrounding the ‘obelisk testing’.

At our KCC Thanet Local Board meeting last October I once more warned that the worse scenario would be for the costs to escalate to a level that made the project unachievable but thankfully we do at least now have a last chance to salvage something from this project.

As a youth in the seventies I clearly remember the sad morning Margate Pier was beaten by the storm, which left it devastatingly strewn in small pieces across our golden sands. Today feels exactly the same. The residents of Thanet have been let down in a very big way. Our most deprived of areas deserves immense support from KCC but instead we’ve had hopes raised only to be dealt one more enormous blow.

It was obvious to anyone with even the smallest knowledge of local history that building the Turner Contemporary in the sea was fraught with difficulties and that these extra and unnecessary issues would drive costs out of control!

KCC have at last discovered some common sense. For the residents of Thanet I just hope it’s not too late! “

27 comments:

Captain Ahab said...

From today's Thanet Times: a KCC source said "The projected costs are frightening. A lot of people (presumably our councillors?) were getting cold feet".

And about time to, you might think as costs quite clearly are going to project way past £30,000,000!

I personally as a Council Tax payer got cold feet a long time ago when it became apparent that almost £7,000,000 had already been spent and we had nothing to show for it.

We were ignored when we suuggested a few years ago that we had a good site for about £660,000 for purchase. What was it called... ah yes The Royal Seabathing Hospital.
I wait with baited breath to see what is coming next!

Dizzy Lusioned said...

I heard this is going to be announced tomorrow.

But where does that leave us? Back at square one. This thing was meant to have been built years ago. Will any of us live long enough to see it realised? I agree that they should have thought twice about putting it in the sea, I also remember when the pier blew down. I also agree that the Sea Bathing Hospital would have been better suited. But now the agonising and debating starts all over again, and meanwhile plans to re-generate Margate get set further and further back.

Tell you what, kill two birds with one stone and put it on the Dreamland site!

Anonymous said...

I remember when was a lad we heard we were getting a skateboard park in Margate! Wow i thought, just like those beautiful sculpted parks i had seen pictures of in California, Spain, France etc ... alas we did not get that, we got, well anyone who knows what i am talking about will concur...
I remember when we were going to get water slides at the swimming pool (just like on the adverts for centre parks!) ... alas we did not get those, we got... well anyone who knows what i am talking about will concur...

I remember when we were going to get an art gallery... and so it goes on...

Anonymous said...

Who needs an art gallery in Margate anyway?
And as far as the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital development is concerned - its being turned into some hundreds of flats, and the lady who is doing the scheme is getting very very very rich.
Westbrook will be irrevocably changed for the better by the development, but not as much as it would been if we had turned the hospital into a Sea Life Centre. and/or museum/gallery.

Anonymous said...

On the BBC news this morning they said the Turner Fiasco had already cost £20 million.
Even I don't believe that, where did they get that from?
We are now well on the way to achieveing Millennium Dome notoriety!
Everyone concerned with this stupid scheme deserves immediate termination, I don't necessarily mean a pair of concrete boots and a swim in the harbour, appealing though this may sound.
Just resignation for the stupid councillors who supported it and sacking with no golden handshake for the director Victoria Pomery.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been to the current Turner offering in the old substation behind KFC? Me and several friends ventured along to the opening day. I think our party must of boosted the numbers to a nine people. It was difficult, awkward work which one of our party couldn't wait to leave. Goodness where to start, its all been said before about the TC but for what its worth ... pretty much everything they have done or put on has been at the 'difficult' end of the artistic spectrum. I dont think they should of chosen such difficult works of art to show in the town before they were up and running, sure if they were art students then why not but i think they failed to realise was this Turner centre project has far more than art in itself at stake. I am sure all the TC people know their art inside out, what seems to have gone wrong is the lack of understanding of Margate, its people and its needs. They should of introduced that sort of stuff gently, i am afraid they only succeeded in alienating themselves. As i say this has all been said before but who is to blame? TC, KCC, TDC?

Anonymous said...

Apparently they're making an announcement at this very moment. Has anyone got the details yet?

People of Thanet are Frustrated AGAIN! said...

I think it's absolutely disgusting that the ammount spent on this project already has been lost, and that the people of Thanet have not beneffited one bit from such a great expense.
Ok, so Thanet needs investment for the future. But wouldn't that money have been better spent creating and maintaining everyday facilities for local people?
The project managers appear to have a mouch more realistic outlook now, and the gallery will be going ahead anyway, hopefully boosting tourism and cultural interest in the area.
Having lived in Thanet for most of my life though, I can almost guarantee that a very small minority of the local population will show any interest, or benefit from a venture of this kind, look at our backgrounds.
I'm dissapointed in the local government for not utilising funds in a way which will REALLY benefit generations in Thanet, and hope that when I have children, those in charge can have a much more realistic approach to changing the future.

Anonymous said...

Yes I went to the Latvian film thing at the substation off Margate High Street, if that's what you're talking about.

I thought it was terrific. If you just want Jack Vettriano, I suggest you visit Woolworths on a Sunday afternoon.

As for all this bleating about 'why hasn't the money been spent on giving the bored kids something to do', what they really need is a future, and that's what the TC is/was supposed to help achieve.

Anonymous said...

"and that's what the TC is/was supposed to help achieve."

HOW?

Working as car park attendants?


It wasn't even going to be built here with local labour force!


None of the money was staying in Thanet.

Anonymous said...

The news is, according to Kent Online, that the latest estimate from the contractors was £50m and rising, so KCC have bitten the bullet and pulled the plug.

The contractors could give no guarantee of the final cost, due to the siting of the gallery. It will now be re-sited elswehere (where?!?!).

KCC say the £6m already spent on designs has not been wasted and will be recouped through some of the regeneration that has already happened.

Much egg on faces all round, then.

Anonymous said...

It is/was supposed to help achieve this by regenerating the place.

If you've ever been up to that big city just 90 minutes up the road, you'll find that, in addition to bricklayers and parking attendants, people work in a variety of interesting and fulfilling roles, some of which we'd like to attract here, thank you very much.

Are you saying that the youth of Thanet have/should have absolutely no aspirations at all?

Anonymous said...

LOL... Like the Woolworths crack! Although don't knock it, its one of the last decent shops left in Margate high street, although not sure its open on a Sunday afternoon... The thing about Jack Vettriano is that he is very very popular, from a business point of view he is bankers dream, a winner, sells his work for thousands and sells thousand of his prints (although personally its not my cup of tea at all ) old fashioned i know, artists makes work artist sells work.

Anonymous said...

Just been down to the Harbour to have a look at the Visitors' Centre - its closed until April!
Closing that must have saved answering some awkward questions recently.
There were 2 guys there with a big video camera and a darkhaired lady with a bunch of papers, maybe something to do with an announcement.
Couldn't stay and watch as there were no available parking spaces round there, all full.

Anonymous said...

I know!

Let's put it on the Dreamland site, call it The Vettriano Contemporary sponsored by Woolworths, allow some teenagers to torch it a few months later, and then everyone will be happy!

Anonymous said...

Looks like they've decided to put it on the Rendezvous site as a sort of mixed leisure/arts/hotel thing.

Full statement from KCC can be read here:

http://www.kent.gov.uk/news/feb-06-turner.htm

Anonymous said...

Yes, especially Jimmy Godden if he's got it insured.

Oh no, the Scenic Railway might have to accidentally catch fire first, still I am surprised that hasn't happened already!

Anonymous said...

I hear that butler with the umbrella and the dancing couple in evening wear was actually painted on Margate beach...

Anonymous said...

I heard he copied it from a book!

Anonymous said...

What was a butler doing on the beach anyway?

Anonymous said...

Ask Jeeves!

James Maskell said...

Ask Jeeves is getting rid of the butler...

Anonymous said...

They lost their KCC grant for him

Anonymous said...

Can't help noticing a sense of hilarity and lightheartedness on this thread site , now that KCC has come to its senses. I'd have been happier if this had been done before almost £7,000,000 had been wasted. What a difference this would have meant to Thanet if it had been wisely spent over the past 3 years instead.

Anonymous said...

I believe the only TDC Councillor who changed her mind about the Turner Project was Iris Johnston, she listened to the electorate and looked at the increased costs and then decided it wasn't such a good idea after all.

Good for you Iris!

James Maskell said...

While Cllr Iris Johnston looked at the electorate in the southern portion of Salmestone ward in the run up to the General Election and decided she would tell them that she couldnt support the Pearce Signs development because the local residents didnt like it...then promptly voted for it. The desperate explanation to the residents watching from the public gallery was priceless.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about "good for you Iris" - can anyone tell me when Iris changed her mind about the Turner Centre? I recall her castigating all the dissenters at a winter gardens public meeting not that long ago, because she was all in favour of it! It was our dear Iris who was one of the instigators of this ridiculous mess.