Thanet Extra reports that speculation is mounting that council leaders are contemplating a radical rethink on the Turner Centre.
Kent County Council is understood to be weighing up whether the centre could be relocated to another part of the harbour in a bid to cut costs.
Under the existing plans, it is due to be built alongside the stone pier at Margate.
Contractors are due to tell KCC next week their latest estimate for building the centre, in line with plans for it to be partially embedded in the sea bed.
Although it has been hailed as an iconic design, the centre has been dogged by problems. Costs have spiraled to £30million, four times the original estimate and the gallery will now not open until 2008, some four years later than forecast.
Kent County Council is understood to be anxious the final bill for sticking by the original radical design could increase still further because of the rising price of steel, the main material being used in the construction.
Council members also concerned their own efforts to secure backing from private sponsors may not bridge what is a widening funding shortfall.
Thanet council leader Cllr Sandy Ezekiel said he was not prepared to comment further on speculation regarding the future location of the centre.
But he stressed: “I am confident that the Turner Contemporary will be built in Margate and that it will play a vital role in the town’s regeneration plans.”
The Arts Council has agreed funding of £4.1million, with a further £4million pledged by SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency.