It has been 20 years since the first National Lottery draw and Culture Secretary Sajid Javid visited Margate this week to see the impact National Lottery funding has had in transforming the town.
Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate has received a total of £5.1 million of National Lottery funding from the Arts Council England with £4.1 million contributed to the initial building of the gallery and a further £1 million investment since the gallery opened in 2011 – a great example of National Lottery money making a positive impact on the local community.
Lottery cash is also helping to restore one of the town’s most loved visitor attractions – Dreamland Amusement Park – which closed in 2006. The Heritage Lottery Fund has contributed £6.2 million towards restoring the amusement park, which is home to the oldest surviving roller coaster in the UK. Work started in September and it is hoped that Dreamland will re-open as a vintage theme park next year.
In 2000, Heritage Lottery Fund awarded Thanet District Council £600,000 as part of its Townscape Heritage programme, which has enabled 59 historic buildings in the Old Town to be repaired and created 60 jobs. As well as National Lottery money Margate is also attracting investment from other sources, such as the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, which recently announced a £1.8 million grant to restore a derelict art deco cinema to its 1930s glory.
As part of his visit Mr. Javid spent time at the world renowned Turner Contemporary gallery, named after one of Britain’s best loved painters, JMW Turner, who went to school in Margate and visited the town throughout his life.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said:
The National Lottery is 20 years old this month and in that time it has raised £32 billion for projects across the whole of the UK. Turner Contemporary is a fantastic success story – it has welcomed 1.4 million visitors from home and abroad, bringing in £32 million to the local economy. It is not only helping the ongoing regeneration of Margate but it is also enriching lives by engaging people in the arts.
Turner Contemporary is a gallery delivering world-class exhibitions on contemporary and historical art. Today’s visit by the Culture Secretary coincides with the recently released National Lottery funded Mr Turner film, a biographical drama on the painter played by Timothy Spall, who picked up ‘Best Actor’ for his portrayal of Turner at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
During his visit to Turner Contemporary, the Culture Secretary was taken on a tour of the gallery by the Director Victoria Pomery, met Chair of Turner Contemporary, John Kampfner, and with members of their community programme, Blank Canvas, which brings younger and older people together, to help them to explore similarities and differences and to interact with and enjoy art together.
Director at Turner Contemporary Victoria Pomery said: Turner Contemporary is an amazing resource and has had an enormous impact regionally and nationally. We bring great art to diverse audiences and have become one of the leading visitor attractions in Kent. The continued public investment in Turner Contemporary ensures maximum benefit for the social and economic regeneration of the region.