1. ITV Report

Turner - one year on

The Turner Gallery opened exactly one year ago - at a cost of £17 million Photo: ITV Meridian

A year on from the opening of the £17 and a half million Turner Contemporary, a survey by ITV Meridian has shown that less than one in five businesses close to the gallery have seen an increase in profits. What's more the town appears divided, with traders furthest away from Turner saying only its near neighbours are reaping the rewards - and not enough is being done to draw visitors to the rest of the town.

That's despite the fact that figures provided by the gallery show that 13.8 million pounds has been pumped into Kent's economy and the gallery has created 130 jobs. Results of research done by the gallery itself show that almost 500,000 visitors have come in the past year, against a forecast of 156,000. Our survey of 100 businesses however shows many haven't seen that money.

Meridian's research also shows a divide opening up between Turner’s neighbours and the Old Town - and those further afield. Most traders along the High Street and Seafront said they were seeing no increase in trade.

According to the ITV Meridian survey the Turner "effect" has been felt most by the Old Town, 80% of businesses saying they have benefited on the 6 days Turner is open.

As for Turner's neighbours, 76% say they are also better off.

But further along the seafront the picture is less rosy, just over a quarter(28%) feeling the benefit.

The bleakest picture is the High Street - only 11% of traders have felt some benefit.


The High Street still has a significant number of boarded up shops and and the consensus from shopkeepers is that the Turner visitors are going to the Old Town and not reaching them, several are calling on the authorities to do something to regenerate the High Street as well.

We also asked traders to tell us if their profits had increased over the past year - only 16 said YES to having reported profits - that's less than a fifth of the amount surveyed.

More on this story

  • The Turner Effect

    ITV Meridian has conducted an exclusive report on the Turner Contemporary a year after it opened. Here is our special 'The Turner Effect'.