Friday, February 09, 2007

Up and Up

Kent Online reveals that the cost of building the new Turner Centre has risen by £2.4million to £17.4million.

Kent County Council is confident the price for the new "on-shore" gallery on Margate seafront will not go up any further but admitted it had abandoned hope of imposing a £15million ceiling on the costs.

One of the reasons for the increase is the discovery that the new site could be vulnerable to sea flooding, meaning that additional protection will be needed.

Cllr Mike Hill (Con), KCC's cabinet member for communities, said: "The £15million was an estimate made when we did not even have architects appointed.

"When they were appointed, we ended up with extras relating specifically to the condition of the site and the need to make it 'fit for purpose'. There is an inherent risk of the sea over-topping the sea wall which is minimal but nevertheless means the building requires protection."

The initial commitment to pay no more than £15million also excluded the costs of fixtures and fittings.

The initial plan for the Turner centre on the pier was scrapped last February after costs nearly doubled to £40million. About £7million of public money was spent and KCC has confirmed it is considering legal action to recover some of its outlay


Old Thanetonian said...

A reader raised this issue on an earlier strand dealing with Pleasureama in Ramsgate. It seems to the average Thanetonian that KCC and TDC lost £7 million before those responsible eventually realised what everyone was telling them about putting the TC in the oggin on the weather side of Margate Harbour!
Despite warnings aired last year about the inadvisibility of shifting TC to its new site( still weather and tide prone), the powers that be, are to have to spend another £2.4 million because of the amazing 'discovery' "that the site could be vulnerable to sea-flooding" What a surprise.

So now we need to take bets on when the new TC will be knocked on the head. £12 million , became £15 million and now £17.4 million. Add the £7 million wasted and a weather/flood prone building is to cost tax-payers £24.4 million by the time it is built. Wise old Thanetonians were ignored when the unsuitability of the 'new' site was raised by them as TDC and KCC knew better.

Well its only Tax-payer's money so lets just keep spending it. By the way,is it just me or has the TC Crowd of paid employees 'without a TC' been in very low profile just recently? Haven't heard much on art initiatives and is the sign still up by the harbour to direct us to the Turner Contemporary Visitor Centre? The wage bill for these people without a TC was shown as having been in excess of £1,000,000 last year; what has the wage bill now risen to?

B of Birchington said...

It really beggars belief. They never listen to the people who have lived here for decades.
What a waste of money this silly project has been from start to finish.
The arty set who will be interested in this are few in Thanet and I can't see many people travelling to it.
I am sorry for those who want it but it will just be another white elephant if it is built at all

Anonymous said...

anon again!

I'm taking bet's now, that the cost will rise even MORE for this Gallery.
Someone once said £8,000,000, this rose to £50,000,000....we're well on the way to topping that figure...but's only Council Tax who cares?
Oh... on the subject of C-Tax.... my Wheely Bin has NOT been emptied this week.... (because of an inch of snow????) So, I will be writing to the TDC to have this 'non' collection reduced from my Bill.

ossie said...

So it was never envisaged that the new site could be vulnerable to sea flooding. REALLY oh dear oh dear. What planet are they from. Ah yes I nearly forgot its Planet Thanet....

Jeremy Jacobs said...

£16 Million. Could have had a new stadium for Margate FC with that. And with a hotel on site at Hartsdown Park.

Anonymous said...

Just be grateful Ken Livingstone isn't in charge. Imagine how much we could have to pay!

Nethercourt said...

And all the while.... what's going to happen to the old M&S building?

Hey! Turn it into a state of the art 'turn-out' centre.... the 'art' will occur as a matter of course....

Anonymous said...

If a fraction and i mean a faction of those insane TC costs £780,073 on promotion, entertainment and change of identity alone! had gone to the IOTA gallery in Ramsgate, the well attendid, (average turn out at openings 200 - 300 people) interesting, vibrant and 'inclusive' set up at the old monkey house and not to mention the wonderful work they have done in the community, especially with the childrens art monkeys program then things would have been so much better... but alas no. See Fridays local rag for the news of this sad loss.

worm said...

Oh Dear. What a sad lot of dinosaurs you are! I am really looking forward to the TC opening when and if it eventually does. If you haven't noticed the positive effect the idea of it being built has had on the area already then I'm afraid you are just not looking. I admit there have been some major errors of judgement and mainly die to a failure, as usual to listen to local people, but
I would regard 16 million spent on a football stadium or ice rink or sports centre as a REAL waste of public money, but to spend it on cultural education and art? A waste? Pleeeeaaassse! What year is this?
17 million is peanuts for such a project. Lets not forget also that only a fraction of that budget comes from Council Tax. Much of it comes from a Euro grant that would not be spent on anything else.
Do you care about your tax being spent on bombs or tax cuts for corporate organisations? How about invasions of foreign countries? If only people like you would spend as much effort protesting about those things.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

I think that people who WANT the TC to exist are wearing blinkers to what is going on in the real world! I would far rather have guaranteed clean fresh water delivered to my house. They are the sort who use their hosepipes, relentlessly ignoring any future water shortage.
We came so close to disaster last year because of incapable money grabbing Water Authorities & various Councils. The TC money could be put toward some kind of organisation that would ensure our safety in this direction.(for instance! there are several other perfectly good suggestions as to what we need more than an Art Gallery). £17,000,000 is NOT peanuts, and should be used more wisely.

T.C Margate said...

Quote "I would regard 16 million spent on a football stadium or ice rink or sports centre as a REAL waste of public money, but to spend it on cultural education and art? A waste? Pleeeeaaassse! What year is this?" unquote

2007. Ask anybody,they will tell you!!
Arts & the cost involved will never be acceptable in this area.It just wont work! Seems the council arent the only ones failing to listen.
Time for a further petition maybe before the costs escalate yet again.Only this time we start at a figure well short of the £30,the point where the previous petition was started.Any further wait will see that cost rise again.Its a certainty.Please feel free to quote me on this when it happens).White elephant? Dosen't even come close to the realities of it all!
Am about to get the wheels in motion on that petition.Time to call it a day & to put this absurd idea to bed once & for all.

Anonymous said...

During May 2003 district council elections Margate Conservative candidates capitalised on the uncertainty of the Turner Center and piggy backed the save Dreamland campaign. As a result gaining a seat in Salmestone Ward and Central ward, also reducing Labour majorities in all the Margate wards. Only Clitonville West went against the trend. So what are they going to do this May. The Turner Center has been a total political failure and it is obvious they are looking for a way out, like most controversial issues we will not find out until after May, but then I suspect the Conservatives will actually lose seats in these areas,

worm said...

It's a pity there are so many people determined to keep Margate the cultural wasteland it has been for so long.
What was that rant about people who want the TC are the sort who use their hosepipes during a ban? What ARE you talking about?

Anonymous said...

anon again!

Here here! SCRAP it!

Anonymous said...

An argument could be made that the big arts org's with plenty of cash and others like film makers, media types, the people who film and photograph their adverts etc like Margate becuse it is as you point out a 'cultural wasteland'... makes for a lovely gritty, authentic 'back drop' to ones work, dont you know. Once tarted up they tend to move on.

Anonymous said...

This project is not about art,it is about regeneration for Margate and Cliftonville in particular. A catalyst to encourage people with cash from out of town to tart up the rest of the area to make it attractive, and bring even further investment i.e. a marina, pier, restaurants, shops, etc.. It will bring visitors from New York, Paris, Tokyo, Rome and will give opportunities to people who currently do not have opportunities. The knockers do nothing for our town - give those who want to make a difference a chance.

worm said...

Well said! Someone who really cares about the area rather than their own pockets.
I can just see people from Europe and the US swarming into Margate to visit rink? stadium? which incidentally only had a seven year lease on the land originally at the beginning of the last century, WITH a proviso not to expand its borders any further. Anyone who took a real interest in the area they have lived in for so long would know this or at least find out about it before sounding off.

Anonymous said...

So what is going to be so special about the new land based TC? Will people travel miles to see the world's greatest collection of Turner's work? Will it have 'modern contemporary art' inspired by unmade soiled beds? Will it just be a modern building with an art gallery in it and no different to many up and down the land? The saving grace about the original "White whale of a TC' was that people may have just come to look at the building. Let's be quite clear about the source of revenue; it has come from the taxation pool i.e indirectly or directly from your pockets and mine. It cost £7,000,000 for nothing and now another £17,000,000 for a non-descript building on the wether beaten Margate promenade. At least Modern Tate re-used an old building but here in Margate we lacked the common-sense to use a building that Turner may well have walked round. I wonder how much the developers of The Royal Seabathing Hospital have spent so far to create a wonderful development; far less I suspect than £24,000,000! The real artistic effort in a community comes from within and IOTA etc develop it at grass roots level without the big political state/civic machine throwing money in. Oh what sad times we live in when £millions are wasted so frivolously and contemptuously.

Anonymous said...

Hello 5.20, I am all for the regeneration as well, dont get me wrong and yes why not visitors from all over the world, that would be great but what i fear is you are going to get a hotel with a gallery tacked on the side. That is not a reason to visit Margate. A nice little pay day for some developers and chums high up at KCC. I do lay some of the blame at the door of TC themselves, It could appear they have totally miss judged their approach to the way they have engaged with the public, and their approach to bridge building with the wider community, especially in the early years of this saga. setting up an art gallery and regenarting an area are completely separate. the TC crew may know everthing there is to no about contempory arts but they have missed the boat when dealing with the bricks and mortar issues relating to this whole project. They need to appoint someone like lars Nittve who was brilliant in setting up and opening Tate Modern.

James Maskell said...

"During May 2003 district council elections Margate Conservative candidates capitalised on the uncertainty of the Turner Center and piggy backed the save Dreamland campaign. As a result gaining a seat in Salmestone Ward and Central ward, also reducing Labour majorities in all the Margate wards."

As I understand it, Bowen Fuller was elected based on a wider manifesto than that of the Turner Centre (not in Salmestone) and Dreamland. There are other issues in Salmestone, such as hospital parking, transport links, planning and development (including housing) and low level crime. The Conservatives didnt concentrate on the Turner Centre and Dreamland and it would be strange to suggest that Salmestone residents care just about those two issues.

Perhaps the Tories won those seats and reduced those majorities because of the strength of the candidates themselves?

Anonymous said...

I hope most are not foolish enough to think the cost to build this waste of space is the end of it. The majority of the capital cost will come from tax payers but all the running costs will be on our bills as long as it remains open!
before the supposed £50million cost scuppered the last plan the running costs had risen to £1.25 million per year!
This effort, if it ever materialises, will be something like the same no doubt.