Arts & Elbows

A catalogue of commentary on events in Thanet and occassionally the rest of the world.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

It's regeneration Jim, but not as we know it.

Possibly last week's public meeting on the future of the Turner Centre was meant to reassure Islanders about this flagship scheme for arts regeneration. Sadly it was a further step to alienate everyone other than those happy few who are doing rather well from it.
Locals with a memory have noticed a cycle emerging, namely a long list of improvements which are just around the corner. The very same corner enthused about a decade ago when arts as a route to regenerating Margate Old Town was first heralded. Now we're told not to worry because the new plan will make it all better within the next seven to ten years.
Quite a surprising claim given that roughly £10,000,000 has been thrown at this project thus far without much change aside from the closing of many shops. These closures have spread from the Old Town to the lower High Street, producing a new ten year low.
No one seriously expects this to be addressed, rather we imagine it being touted as an increase in "opportunities" after the Council's "exemplary management" of inward investment. We, the people, are reduced to shaking our heads, sighing with the occasional punctuation of a tut, and a strong sense of deja vu.

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