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  • Heather Fearfield

Turner Contemporary at Future Cities Forum 2


We were delighted to welcome Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary, to our Future Cities Forum 2 to discuss the important issue of coastal regeneration in the UK.

Margate's Turner Contemporary, has been putting the town back on the map and attracting large numbers of visitors, creating a new cultural destination.

Coastal regeneration is a vital part of UK survival in economic terms and a Coastal Communities Fund was set up in 2012 to help seaside towns re-invent themselves after the 1970s package tours industry

killed home-grown tourism. Skegness, Blackpool, Clacton and Hastings were thought to be prime targets for the help.

The following year a £23 million 'Live Margate' campaign started to regenerate 300 properties in Margate Central and Cliftonville West and to bring back The Embassy Hotel to its former Edwardian glory.

Transport investment has meant that with the opening of High Speed 1, the journey time from London St Pancras to the town, now only takes 88 minutes and there are ambitions to reduce this. A fifty year protection flood defence keeps Marine Drive and Old Town area protected from the sea.

With £17 million of funding from (Arts Council England, SEEDA and Kent County Council) the architect Sir David Chipperfield, designed what others describe as a 'boat-shed' on the beach for Margate's Turner Contemporary. The descriptions go on...'robust', 'defiant', 'assuredly crisp' and was overseen meticulously by Victoria Pomery herself. The museum is covered with a laminated glass exterior, with large windows to the sea and top lit by a mixing of north and south light to eliminate shadows within the galleries.

Chipperfield states that the museum 'works in its own right', wanting it 'to feel like an artist's studio, where someone has come in and left their work on the wall'. But he is scathing about whether a single building can restore the town by itself.

By contrast Victoria, who is a member of Arts Council England and has been praised for her understanding of culture-led regeneration, feels that she is opening up a very special experience both to locals and visitors further afield.

Hear what she has to say in a short clip from our forum and watch out for updates on how we tackle this important topic in future events:

#turnercontemporary #regeneration #margate

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