In this blog post, we are going to learn more about Turner Contemporary, located in Margate, Kent. Lead Pathfinder partner of Culture Kent, Turner Contemporary has had a positive impact in arts & culture in Kent.
1.) Name of organisation: Turner Contemporary
2.) Type of organisation: Art gallery and charity
3.) Year founded: 2001
4.) Tell us a little bit about your organisation and what it offers tourists:
The organisation was founded in 2001 to contextualise, celebrate, and build on the artist JMW Turner’s association with Margate, Kent. In 2011, Turner Contemporary gallery, designed by Sir David Chipperfield, opened, and has fast become a visitor attraction of national and international importance.
Situated on Margate seafront, on the same site where Turner stayed when visiting the town, Turner Contemporary presents a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions, events and learning opportunities which make intriguing links between historic and contemporary art. The gallery offers a space for everyone to discover different ways of seeing, thinking and learning.
Turner Contemporary, driven by its vision of Art Inspiring Change, has led the regeneration of the historic seaside town of Margate. It has inspired people to transform their lives, and to see the world differently through the arts.In the five years since opening, Turner Contemporary has achieved two million visits. This astounding figure is doubtless a result of gallery’s ever-growing reputation, world class exhibitions and outstanding audience engagement and learning programmes.
5.) What are some concerns your organisation has related to tourism?:
As a cultural organisation and tourist attraction, we’re hugely interested in the potential to bridge gaps between us and other organisations, attractions and businesses to create a more joined up approach to attracting tourism. People will rarely make long journeys to visit one place solely, therefore it is imperative that we communicate openly with others. In Kent, we have a great opportunity to direct people from major transport hubs, such as Dover and Ashford out into the furthest reaches of the county. If we fail to communicate with each other and tourists, there is a real danger that we will miss these vital opportunities to boost our economy.
One other concern is that traditional tourism is quite seasonally dependent and we would like to encourage people to come all year round. The beauty of cultural tourism is that it is so accessible whatever the weather.
6.) How will the efforts of Culture Kent address your concerns?
Culture Kent enables heightened knowledge sharing across the two sectors of culture and tourism to fill evident gaps, enhance audience development, and vitally reposition the brand of Kent as the creative county outside of London. This is being achieved through in-depth research into cultural tourists, the development of pilots and campaigns to convert tourists to cultural tourists, facilitating hub and spoke relationship building and partnership working.
We’re excited to be building on our existing partnerships, but also building important, long-lasting new ones, with large, medium and small organisations, and taking our role as leader further.
Thank you to Turner Contemporary for telling us about their organisation and their aims for tourism growth!