Margate Mad House at Westgate Pavilion has been cancelled in shock ‘shut down’

The Mad House attraction Photo Margate Madhouse.

The Mad House scare event at Westgate Pavilion has been cancelled after the building was suddenly shut down with the serving of a prohibition notice, says marketing manager Lee Williams.

The award-winning event was due to have its launch night tonight (October 25) but the notice is understood to have been served by Kent Fire and Rescue this afternoon. A health and safety notice was also given by a Thanet council inspector.

Mr Williams, who created The Mad House with his family, wife Sonia and kids Charlotte, Jemma and Paige, in 2016 and received a ScareCON award for the attraction, says he is unclear on what grounds the prohibition has been served or what the process is for dealing with it.

Charlotte, Lee, Jemma, Sonia and Paige

He added: “Three days ago I was told there had to be an urgent risk assessment after a complaint and today six or seven people turned up and have shut us down.

“I don’t know why, we had the fire officer in at the end of last year and there were no problems.

“We were due to have the launch night tonight but are now having to tell people it is off and refund the tickets.

“We won an award, made a lot of noise for Margate with the maze and the carnival but now this has shut us down.”

Mr Williams, who is the tenant, said there is a dispute currently ongoing with the new Westgate Pavilion owner – The Westgate Pavilion Local Project – which bought the site from Thanet District Council in June.

Westgate Pavilion Local Project chairman Nicholas Martine said he was unaware a notice had been served although he said concerns had been raised following a surveyor’s report of the building.

A spokesperson for Kent Fire and Rescue Service confirmed a notice had been served due to concerns over the maze construction.

They added: “Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) fire safety officers visited the Westgate Pavilion Scare Maze on 25 October, accompanied by representatives from Thanet District Council, to carry out a fire safety audit. A number of concerns came to light concerning the construction of the maze and use of potentially hazardous or flammable materials. Officers were required to serve a restriction notice on the premises for the following findings:

  •  Inadequate means of detection and means of giving warning to safeguard relevant persons in the event of fire.
  • Inadequate emergency routes and exits to safeguard relevant persons in the event of fire.

“KFRS has a statutory duty to help keep business premises safe and to ensure the safety of our communities. KFRS is also committed, where possible, to helping to keep businesses trading safely. Fire safety officers will continue to work with the responsible persons for this premises and have presented guidance and advice on what measures can be taken to have the notice removed and the business up and running again.”

The Isle of Thanet News has contacted Thanet council for more details.


  1. Yes the AWARD WINNING Scare maze just so happens to get shut down after allegations of health and safety being below standards which were apparently “short notice” even though 4 groups show up shutting it down and the news finding out within an hour.

    I don’t believe it. They have been involved in a court case against someone who wants them shutdown and suddenly these guys show up on the day it starts and shuts it down?

    Excuse my language but this is bollocks. It’s obviously staged. When asked at the scene the officials couldn’t tell me why they were shutting it down they had no answer.

    This was done to destroy the group and ruin their reputation and I will gladly make a public statement saying so.

    • Look towards the new owners. Possibly an investor in a local Language School who has a nursing home between Sandwich And Dover. There was a falling out between the two parties some time ago because the Pavilion lessee’s wouldn’t agree to the demands of the Language School. Will this in reality become an asset for the community or a profit making venture for the new owner.

  2. i think its about time this travesty was shut down, nothing but a nuisance and the building is a deathtrap

  3. Wish the Town Council had purchased the Pavilion under a community asset but knowing who wanted the pavilion and who promised us that we would work together as a community we pulled back . What is happening to the tenant Lee is absolutely disgusting . That man has spent a fortune on the Pavilion .

  4. How does a complaint get made against them BEFORE the opening night? The landlord needs talking too and paying the tennants for loss of earnings and stress. The whole cast has just spent the evening trying to put things right,

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