I am unashamedly opposed to the waste of tax-payers money to build Mr Chipperfield's mediocre Turner Contemporary in Margate and hoped that at some stage commonsense would kick in after KCC wasted over £6,000,000 and TDC wasted £2million on M&S for the 'Turner Regeneration Dream'.
Yet tomorrow will see the start of this folly. I have heard all the arguments that it is not going to cost us to have it built (all sorts of tax-payer's money is nevertheless being spent) but what is glaringly obvious is that it will not do the job of being a successful visitor attraction.
Local TDC Councillors Hart and Johnstone have expressed concerns that KCC would rather build apartments and an hotel on the Rendezvous Car Park than have a car park for the TC and I must share their worries. Where will people park? KCC insist that this development is essential to help pay for the estimated £2.3 million annual running costs. In other words TC is not able to pay for itself!
KCC Scrutiny Chairman Dr Mike Eddy said "The key to any project of this type is its long-term viability and I think we all are concerned about how the gallery will be able to pay its way. Thanet needs a successful Turner Contemporary and we need to ensure that the finances are sound after the big launch event is over". Well if we are so concerned, should this project proceed?
My understanding of local habits is that Primark attracts more visitors to Margate than any other attraction at the moment, so we would be better off with TDC issuing free £20 vouchers to visitors to spend at Primark than continuing with this ill-fated and mad project. Each visitor to the TC is likely to cost us local Community Charge payers a similar amount in subsidy.
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