How pleasing to see the hard work of all those concerned with Turner Contemporary, is proving a big success and the knowledge that Margate has started to reverse the decline of recent years.
Turner Contemporary announced yesterday, that it had now had its 156,000th visitor (the target figure for the 1st year), Edoardo Pacchett, from Monza, Italy was welcomed by the Director Victoria Pomery with a bottle of local Kent sparkling wine, Victoria commented “It is fantastic to have hit our visitor target so early" , hopefully even the cynical would agree the Director and that this is a remarkable achievement attracting so many in the first three months.
The benefits of Turner of course aren't all going to be overnight but here are some of the early positives highlighted by Turner Contemporary, 85% visited specifically to see the gallery, 25 new businesses have opened in the old town and lower High Street and SouthEastern railway report 30% more people using Margate Station.
Well done! particularly those who pushed for the gallery and those who've delivered a world class galley in the heart of Margate.
Lets hope, that this development is soon complimented with Dreamland, and that Tesco don't create chaos with their new store.
Finally a couple of points, many millions are collected in taxes from you and I, and much goes to KCC, Turner Contemporary has been that rare instance in which we've seen significant public investment, I feel we need more, particularly from Kent council who syphon your money into affluent West Kent, so ask your local KCC councillor what if anything they are doing to attract other investment? Second point, what a marvellous sight driving into Margate @ five seeing the sun rise over the new gallery, after a night grafting on the railway in a dark dingy tunnel somewhere in London see picture.