Turner Gallery Officially Handed Over

Turner Contemporary Gallery officially handed over

The Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate was officially handed over from Kent County Council (KCC) to the Turner Contemporary Trust this week.

The building has now been completed and will open to the public on April 16 next year.

The first artwork to be installed is a neon piece designed by Michael Craig Martin, which was originally on display on the front of Margate Library in the 1970s.

KCC Cabinet Member for Community Services Mike Hill who has been responsible for the project for the last five years said:

“It was a great day for Turner Contemporary and for Margate. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported the project. There have been many people behind the scenes who have made this happen and now we will press on with improving the surrounding area as we look forward to the opening to the public next year.”

Ten top facts about the Turner Contemporary Gallery:

  • The Turner Contemporary gallery is designed by world renowned architect David Chipperfield and is the largest building he has designed in the UK


  • The first JMW Turner painting to go on display in the gallery will be The Eruption of the SouffrierMountains, in the Island of St Vincent, at Midnight, on the 30th of April, 1812, from a Sketch Taken at the Time by Hugh P. Keane, Esqre 1815. This painting is on loan from the Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool


  • The gallery stands opposite the boarding house where JMW Turner often stayed


  • R Durtnell and Sons, who have built the Turner Contemporary gallery, is the country’s oldest building company. They were established in 1591 and are based in Brasted near Sevenoaks


  • A smaller version of Tracey Emin’s artwork I Never Stopped Loving You, which is currently on display on the front of nearby Droit House, sold at auction for £48,000. This money went to support Turner Contemporary.


  • Six apprentices were employed over the last 18 months, to help build the gallery. They included carpenters and bricklayers and all six were from the local area.


  • The first piece of art to be installed in the building is Michael Craig Martin’s Turning Pages neon which will be on view in the reception area. The design was originally seen on the front of Margate Library in the 1970s.


  • There are 70 internal doors in the gallery


  • There are 4,500 panes of glass used in the building