Tuesday, 1 April 2008


This has now cost Kent Taxpayers another £300,000 in legal fees according to KM Extra.

Remember this 'iconic' project that was abandoned in February 2006 when costs spiralled out of control? The crazy idea of building it on the exposed sea side of Margate Harbour wall was abandoned not when costs rose from £7million to £30 million but when costs rose from £30 million to £50 million. Almost £7 milion of taxpayers money was wasted up to that point and an old breakdown of costs is shown below:
1. £2,520,795 on principle architect's fees, including the cost of the ill-fated test obelisk.
2. £1,153,132 on staff.
3. £780,073 on promotion, entertainment and a change of identity.
4. £609,013 on project managers and quantity surveyors.
5. £466,232 on town planners and technical consultants.
6. £299,155 on miscellaneous professional services.
7. £249,746 on premises and office costs.
8. £170,007 on other costs.
9. £103,403 on secondary architect's fees.
10. £33,782 on travel.
No -one said " O'oops , sorry"; no one resigned. All that happened was that all concerned got on making another set of 'The Emperors New Clothes' to be another 'iconic' building that would only cost £15 million which soon grew to £17.5 million.
So that KCC could say the original shambles wasn't 'our fault' they instructed solicitors to go in pursuit of some of the original contractors for compensation and this ongoing legal battle has so far gobbled up £300,000.
KCC and all those involved in the original scandalous waste of taxpayers money should stop throwing good money after bad and stop this legal battle. You all got it wrong; just admit it and stop this ridiculous and costly smoke screen of 'legal action' to salve your inflated egos.


Michael Child said...

Bertie, hadn’t you heard everyone involved has admitted that designing an art gallery that both looked like and behaved like a pebble in the sea was actually an April fools joke, they are now gong to make us an appropriate refund on our council tax bills.

Anonymous said...

There are many old un-used buildings on Margate sea front, why not have the Turner Centre in one of these buildings.

Anonymous said...

Those sheds on the harbour arm would do nicely, wouldn't they?

Anonymous said...

I worked out when the Turner Centre cost £30 million, it would be just as effective for Thanet's economy to give every man, woman and child on the isle (based on a population of 120,000) £250 each on condition it was spent on buying something from a Thanet based business. Simple calculation if you're not sure - 120,000 x £250 = £30 million.

Plasma tellies/PCs/DVDs all round then!


Anonymous said...

14.08 mentions unused buildings on the seafront. Word on the street has it that they will soon be joined by Primark which is going to close in two months time!!

This scoop was announced to the majority of the customers of a Margate supermarket by a woman shouting down her mobile!!

I would normally have passed this 'scoop' to the other North Thanet blog, but as Thanetthing has committed HariKari and suspended itself, I shall have to share this scoop with you old chap!

I'm sure the council will find a use for such a large piece of the High Street!

Chas Jones

Anonymous said...

There will be no place for cheap,crap outlets for the products of child labour in the New Margate.

Cllr David Green said...

You can add to that the £750,000 for Fort Hill De-dualing, the £4.2m "loan" that TDC took from SEEDA to pay for the Marks and Sencer Building, now valued at about £2m, and whatever the current running costs of the current operation are.

Anonymous said...

Anon 14.08 I would love to know where you get your info from.My friend is manageress of Primark and they had new tills delivered today and are having a refit later on this year so ARE NOT closing!

fred said...

With a desire to be close to the sea, they could put the Turner center in the Ramsgate Pavilion. Its got plenty of floor space, and has the sea lapping exciting close during spring tides.

TDC might even get the Pavilion back for a good price, on the basis of the place needing a good lick of paint !

Oh - but I forgot, the whole objective was to spend a lot of money on a building in Margate wasn't it :-) .


bertie biggles said...

Have been away for most of the day and apologies for not picking up on points.
Nick, you highlight the farce in stark terms; my calculation was that every visitor for the nexr 10 years would cost £30 in subsidy.

Cllr Green, I was told that TDC was not subsidising the M &S Turner thingee, but clearly it is! Would I be right in suggesting that M&S were paid a 'top rate' for the premises and now the value for obvious reasons has halved?

Chas, this rumour will not go away and you are the third person who has told me this. 16.46, your friend may well be manageress of Primark but YATESs staff were given less than 1 week's notice of closure! I am afraid your friend may need to get on to head office on this one!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that M&S have been mentioned in this thread.

When it was announced that they were to have a new premises at Westwood X, they told everyone, including the Council that they would be staying in Margate!!!

Some short memories out there I see!!

Anonymous said...

TDC had the loan from SEEDA on the understanding that if no agreement could be made on what to do with the site, that loan would be paid back.

bertie biggles said...

Does that mean anon 14.06 that TDC is repaying the loan? I am interested in the financial cost of M&S to tax-payers in Thanet and the whole business seems deliberately obfuscated.