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  • Clive Stevens with his award at the KEiBAs award ceremony, with Turner Contemporary's Head of Fundraising Danielle Sharma

Chair of Turner Contemporary Clive Stevens has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to Kent’s business community. The award was presented last night (21 June) at the Kent Excellence in Business Awards, the KEiBAs. This award is widely regarded as the evening’s most coveted award, being nominated by peers, colleagues and friends.

Clive Stevens is a Margate resident. He became Chair of Turner Contemporary in 2016 and has been a Trustee since 2008.

In awarding Clive Stevens the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Business in Kent’, the judges praised his role in building one of the country’s largest accountancy firms, Kreston Reeves, a global network of accountancy firms, Kreston International, and his contribution to the accountancy profession sitting on the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

The judges singled out his wider contributions to Kent and its thriving business community including his role as Chair of Turner Contemporary, on the Board of the inward investment agency Locate in Kent, and as a trusted adviser to a number of Kent businesses including Quex Park.

And if that were not enough, the judges also highlighted Clive’s role as a Kent Ambassador and his appointment as Deputy Lieutenant of Kent in 2017.

On collecting the award, Clive Stevens said: “Not bad for a boy who failed his 11+, whose first job was on the deck chairs on Margate beach. I think that one season on the deck chairs taught me pretty much actually what one needs to know about running a business, giving a service, dealing with customers, the sort of things you do day in day out, and it has certainly stood me in good stead ever since.”

Speaking to a room full of Kent’s leading businesses, Stevens said: “We know Kent is an exceptional place to do business. Please know that we do not work in isolation. We are all of us connected to the community, with a vast range of talents and expertise. So whatever the future holds, politically, socially, economically, why don’t we just all agree to use Kent businesses to source our products and services, really enabling our county to thrive?”

Closing his speech, Stevens said: “Kent is not just about work. It is simply a great place to be. In some ways I have not travelled far from selling deck chairs on Margate beach to chairing Turner Contemporary on Margate beach, and with that hat on I’m so thrilled and excited to be able to announce that in September 2019 Turner Contemporary will be hosting the Turner Prize in Kent. This is the most prestigious prize in the contemporary art world - in the world - and it’s coming to Kent. My ask is I’d like you to think about how your businesses and you will benefit from what will be next year an immense amount of international publicity and exposure for our county.”

Victoria Pomery, Director of Turner Contemporary said: “Since opening in April 2011, the gallery has welcomed more than 2.7 million visitors and is the UK’s leading example of cultural-led regeneration, generating more than £67 million for the local economy.  Celebrating JMW Turner’s links with Margate and Kent, we will host the Turner Prize exhibition in autumn 2019 and we are currently pursuing a capital expansion.  Clive’s role in supporting Turner Contemporary cannot be underestimated and we are thrilled that he has been recognised.”

Clive was nominated for this award by Victoria Pomery, Director at Turner Contemporary, Peter Hawkes, Senior Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution at Furley Page, Anthony Curwen, Managing Director at Quex Park, David Hellyar, Chairman of Hellyar Plastics, and Andrew Griggs, Kreston Reeves’ Senior Partner.

Find out more about the Turner Prize 2019 here.

Posted by: Turner Contemporary on Fri 22 Jun 2018