How art and culture has turned the tide for Margate – Turner Contemporary reaches 156,000 visits in 3 months
Only 3 months after opening Turner Contemporary passed its 12 month target of 156,000 visits. The 156,000th visitor, Edoardo Pacchett from Monza, Italy was congratulated and presented with a bottle of Kentish sparkling wine by Director Victoria Pomery.
Ms Pomery said, “It is fantastic to have hit our visitor target so early in the year. Research shows that we are meeting our aim to attract a wide range of local, regional, national and international visitors. We also know that we are appealing to new audiences, with 5% of our visitors never having been to an art gallery before.”
Research undertaken on behalf of the gallery shows that 48% of visitors to the gallery are from the local area of Thanet, with 27% from the South East, 10% from London with the remainder from the rest of the UK and overseas.
Although the real economic impact of the gallery will only be seen over time, early indications are good:
* 85%of visitors said that their trip was made specifically to see the gallery, showing that the gallery is attracting visitors and income to the town that would not happen otherwise.
* Over the past 18 months 25 new businesses have opened up in Margate’s Old Town and the lower end of the High Street, reversing the national trend of high street decline.
* Southeastern report a 30% rise in the number of people using Margate railway station since the gallery opened in April.
* At a recent meeting with the Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, local business owners reported income up to double that of the equivalent period last year.
Turner Contemporary is also directly generating jobs, employing 37 FTE staff, 40 PTE staff. 14 of the part time staff were recruited through our pioneering Art Works programme, a 15 week course for 30 local unemployed people, providing them with core skills for working in a public facing role.