Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend the Kent Coastal Conference held at the Turner Contemporary centre. There were a number of very interesting speakers with the key notes address being delivered by Nicholas Crane from the BBC. Nicholas Crane was an absolutely brilliant speaker and was described afterwards as being almost ‘poetic’ throughout his speech on the Kent coast. My congratulations go out to the organisers behind this event because it was well attended with some very thoughtful speakers.
Richard Morsley, who is Deputy Director at the Turner Contemporary, also gave a speech on the changing face of Margate. As part of his speech we were given several facts about the Turner and its visitor numbers. 17% of visitors came from Margate, 15% from the rest of Thanet, 38% from the South East, 28% from the rest of the UK, and 2% from overseas. This just goes to show that the Turner Centre is bringing in visitors from all different areas, and is not simply just pulling in the locals. Furthermore 48% of visitors stated that they came to Margate specifically to see the Turner Centre. These are very promising statistics for the future of Margate’s regeneration, and long may they continue.
Yesterday was also a good for Margate for another reason because Dreamland was awarded £3million worth of Heritage Lottery funding for its redevelopment. Jan Leandro who is the Audience Development Officer for the Dreamland Trust gave a presentation to the conference yesterday on the planned redevelopment. Jan talked us through the plans for the new site, and spoke of her hope that it will build on the good work started by the Turner Centre and Old Town. Thanks to the hard work of many the future of Margate is looking good.