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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 February 2006, 13:02 GMT
Back to drawing board for gallery
Architect's image of the original Turner Contemporary gallery
The gallery had been due to be completed before the end of 2007
Plans to build an art gallery off the Kent coast have been scrapped after estimated costs rose to nearly 50m.

The project for the Turner Contemporary in Margate had been surrounded by controversy over the decision to change its structure from concrete to steel.

The flagship gallery was due to have been in the sea next to the old pier.

Kent County Council said it would now be positioned on land instead, at the nearby Rendezvous site, "at far less cost and less risk to the taxpayer".

I believe we can deliver an outstanding and innovative architectural design... at an acceptable cost
Paul Carter, KCC leader

It said it remained totally committed to building the gallery, and more details would be revealed in eight weeks' time.

Local people would also be invited to contribute their views at a public meeting.

KCC leader Paul Carter said a new architect who could do a cheaper job would now be sought, and any money left over would go into other regeneration projects in Margate.

"The original design for Turner Contemporary was bold and exciting, but a figure of nearly 50m for the gallery alone... cannot be borne in part by a local authority acting as protector of the public purse.

Future generations

"However, I believe we can deliver an outstanding and innovative architectural design... at an acceptable cost," he said.

Local MP Roger Gale said he believed the decision would benefit the area in the long run.

"We have one shot and one shot only at the Thanet waterfront development.

"It's vital we get it right and that future generations receive real benefit and real value for the money invested," the Tory MP for Thanet North said.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Find out more about the changed plans for the centre



SEE ALSO:
New gallery name revealed
05 Feb 04 |  Kent


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