Turner Contemporary: Did art transform ‘no-go zone’ Margate?

Tracey EminImage copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Artist Tracey Emin remembers the town was considered a “no-go zone” in the 1980s

Margate’s £17.5m art gallery Turner Contemporary opened in 2011 with hopes it would spearhead the regeneration of one of the most deprived parts of the UK. Since then the gallery has had several hit shows and is hosting this year’s Turner Prize. But how much has it changed the surrounding town?

Tracey Emin grew up in Margate in the 1970s, when the north Kent resort was still attracting crowds of holidaymakers to its “golden mile” of sand, jellied eels, buckets and spades and Kiss Me Quick hats.

But by the 1980s the town had become a “no-go zone”, she recalls.

As visitors found other destinations abroad, Margate – like other seaside resorts – had fallen into sharp decline.

At its lowest ebb, it was an unloved town of boarded-up shops, deserted trains, empty streets and derelict arcades. Its theme park had closed and it was home to some of the poorest communities in the country.