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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
15m limit on Turner Contemporary
Meeting at the Margate Winter Gardens
The Turner Contemporary gallery will now be built on dry land
The building of a flagship art gallery in Margate will cost no more than 15m, Kent County Council has promised.

The announcement came at a meeting held to inform the public about new plans for the Turner Contemporary, which had seen its projected costs rise to 50m.

An original design would have seen it built in the sea off the Margate coast.

The new onshore proposal now includes a hotel and a restoration project for the town's Winter Gardens venue. A new design team could be in place by May.

About 600 people packed into the Winter Gardens on Tuesday night to hear the latest proposals for the Turner Contemporary project, which has been redeveloped after the offshore designs were shelved in February.

Margate needs a development that people can point to
Richard Samuel, Thanet District Council

The chosen location is the Rendezvous site at Fort Hill.

Kent County Council leader Paul Carter said: "We've announced a vision to try to get the private sector to build a hotel adjoining the Turner Contemporary, and linking to a project to restore the Winter Gardens building into a stunning concert centre and conference venue."

Mr Carter admitted the original plans had been overly ambitious, but said that "procurement of a building such as an iconic Turner Contemporary is not simple".

Richard Samuel, chief executive of Thanet District Council, commented: "Margate needs a development that people can point to, they need it as the catalyst for other regeneration."

There are currently no designs for the Turner Contemporary mark two, but local people will be consulted and an opening date of 2009 has been set.


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