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  • Turner Contemporary director Victoria Pomery, head of development Clare Millett and trustee Clive Stevens greet the gallery's two millionth visitor Linda Tucker
    Photographer: J. Pay

On Tuesday 7 June 2016, in our fifth anniversary year, Turner Contemporary welcomed its two millionth visit, an incredible milestone for a gallery which opened little over 5 years ago.

The two millionth person to walk through Turner Contemporary’s doors – just after 10.30am this morning – was Kent teacher Linda Tucker, accompanied by her colleague Angela Clarke and a group of students. She was congratulated by Turner Contemporary’s Director Victoria Pomery and gallery Trustee Clive Stevens, Chairman and Head of Taxation at Kreston Reeves Chartered Accountants.

Tucker was awarded a bottle of Brut English sparkling wine from Kent winery Chapel Down, a tour and tasting voucher for two also from Chapel Down, and a special Tea for Two (millionth) in the gallery café.

Linda Tucker, head of art, St Anselm’s School in Canterbury, Kent , said:
“This is such a surprise I am delighted and have been coming to the gallery since it opened I love it and also bring my students to see the amazing exhibitions. ”

Victoria Pomery, Turner Contemporary Director, says:
“Congratulations to Linda Tucker. We thank her, and everyone else who has helped us achieve the tremendous milestone of two million visits. We are thrilled that our two millionth visit was by a Kent teacher, accompanied by her students, as we are extremely proud of our learning programme and engagement with the local community. Our continued success is a result of hard work by the gallery team, as well as phenomenal support from artists, audiences and funders."

The original forecast of 150,000 visits per year has been continually broken by phenomenal visit figures. Based on this original forecast, it would have taken thirteen years to reach the two million mark, but instead it has taken just five, with an average 400,000 visits per year. As well as exceeding visitor targets the gallery has generated over £50m for the local economy.

Two million visits – the numbers:

  • Over 35 times the population of Margate (57,008)
  • 500,000 more than the population of Kent (1.5 million)
  • 400,000 visits per year
  • 1095 visits per day
  • If two million people held hands they would stretch from Margate to Greenland, they would reach around Wembley Stadium 2339 times and around the Thanet Loop bus route 45 times

Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, says:

“We are extremely proud of the success to date of Turner Contemporary, which is the jewel in the crown of arts development in Kent. Two million visitors is an amazing achievement and we congratulate Turner Contemporary and the gallery director on reaching this figure. This landmark project has been a catalyst for regenerating East Kent, creating jobs and encouraging new businesses and we are sure it will continue to help drive the development of that part of the county.”

Peter Heslip, Director, Visual Arts and South East, Arts Council England, says:

“They say that time flies when you’re having fun and to be sure, the past five years of Turner Contemporary feels like an instant. Hitting two million visitors already is an impressive achievement for the gallery and an important milestone for Margate. The project remains a testament to the social, economic and artistic return we get by investing in culture.”

Posted by: Turner Contemporary on Wed 8 Jun 2016