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Change on the horizon in Margate
By Hannah Ratcliffe
BBC Kent

Turner Contemporary
Inside the construction of the Turner Contemporary

When the foreign holiday became attractive in the 1970s, hoteliers in Margate had to find another way for their large houses to make money.

Some house were split up into bedsits, others became care homes or social housing.

This led to a high concentration of high need and vulnerable people, some of them placed there by local authorities.

This imbalance in population is to be addressed in Margate's future plans.

Art and culture has a big role in the future plans for Margate. The combination of a refurbished Dreamland and a new contemporary art gallery called Turner Contemporary aim to attract visitors all year round to Margate.

In the old town, buildings have been refurbished to welcome artistic enterprises such as galleries, studio spaces and shops.

Turner Contemporary

At the base of the Harbour Arm, the contemporary art gallery is named after one of Britain's most heavyweight artists, J. M. W. Turner.

Known for his big canvases of skies and seas, Turner said, "the skies above Thanet are the loveliest in Europe".

The £17.4 million gallery is hoped to benefit Margate in two ways. Firstly, by attracting high-paying visitors to the town. Secondly, by attracting visitors to the town all year round, with frequently changing exhibitions, thus decreasing Margate's reliance on the summer season.

When the Turner Contemporary opens, artist Tracey Emin will show an exhibition of her work there.


Margate will be the place in the country if you want to see popular culture
Sarah Gaventa, Director of CABE Space and Sea Change Programme

At the other end of the waterfront from the Turner Contemporary stands Dreamland. Synonymous with Margate and covering around 15 acres on the edge of the town centre, its condition is integral to the town's well being.

Closed since 2005, the future is looking brighter for Dreamland with a £3.7 million Sea Change grant from the government, as well as support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thanet District Council is planning to contribute £2 million into the renovation of Dreamland and is transfer the land into its ownership.

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