Thursday, February 02, 2006

Turner May be Turning

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.


Anonymous said...

Relocated to somwehere else? How about Zeebrugge, if and when it breaks free and floats away this is where it will probably end up anyway, be nice for the Belgians.
What a stupid and expensive attempt to make Margate into something it never can be.
That old proverb about a sow's ear and silk purse springs to mind.
Let's face it, the Turner Centre is not for the benefit of citizens of Margate, its an overpriced ego building exercise for councillors.
At least we will have a good name for another pub "the white elephant" to go alongside "the mechanical elephant".

Anonymous said...

Didn't they have five other building designs to chose from? i seem to remember there were some pretty impressive designs knocking about back then. So come on local and regional administrative big wigs, art bods and builders, dust off those other plans, (should be just behind the plans to open up the old town with a walkway from the town centre to the market place, something which really should of been done years ago!) chose a nice design, perhaps something with more than a 60 year shelf life (ludicrous), be sensible, be realistic, get to know Margate and not just 'art' and for the love of god get on with it!

Anon Also said...

Yet another blow for all those people who thought Thanet might actually become somewhere worth living.

Anonymous said...

it would seem to me that the main reason so many people are anti the centre, is because they don't and can't understand what is going inside the building. now if i was a pub or a pound shop that would be a different matter

Anonymous said...

Having spent almost £7,000,000 with still nothing to show for it, I will be fascinated to see what projected cost above the present £30,000,000 forecast will lead to the abandonment of this madness.
Cllr Hill's comment 'we are firmly committed to the regeneration of Margateand an arts gallery to contribute to that' was awfully nice to hear. Surely for £7m could we not already have built a spanking swish art gallery?

Don't these councillors of ours have any concept of just how much £7m is and what it could already have bought?

Nethercourt said...

Build the ruddy thing on the Lido site and have done. At least then it may come to house real works by Turner as opposed to those who copied his style and pictures of a local girls laundry.....

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Turner himself would have thought of this abomination that has his name attached, everyone except our erstwhile ego tripping "local" councillors knows the answer to that.

Anonymous said...

It would seem obvious to comment that the last thing that may be required right now, if any of this newspaper comment is anywhere near the truth, is a slagging off of the whole project. Margate needs this sort of regeneration whatever form any building may finally take. What Margate does not need is an attitude that says we dont want it whatever.

Chris Wells

Anonymous said...

If we actually had the monstrosity built already for £7m we would all be happy and I for one would not have 'attitude'. At £30m and rising; too right i have bl**** attitude!

James Maskell said...

The current plans CANNOT be built for 7 million pounds. If the Turner Contemporary was built for 7 million pounds, a lot of questions would be asked about whether it could produce an income and whether it was built properly.