A plan for investment of up to £25 million in Margate will be submitted to the government in December.
Margate was one of 101 places given the opportunity last year to bid for funding of up to £25 million as part of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund. The fund aims to support urban regeneration, skills development and improved connectivity by giving each place its own Town Deal.
The money is not guaranteed and the first stage of the Town Deal is to have a Town Investment Plan. The plan will set out priorities for Margate’s future, summarise investments already known to be taking place in the town as well as proposing new projects which have been submitted by the community and could be funded by the Town Deal.
Last month local residents, community groups and businesses were given the chance to have their say on what will help Margate grow and potentially access the investment from the government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund initiative.
September 2020 was devoted to listening to people living, working and visiting Margate about their vision and priorities for the town. The feedback received has been hugely valuable and will help shape the Town Investment Plan that will be submitted to the Government Towns Fund in December 2020.
During the month:
682 surveys completed;
Over 30,000 people reached on social media;
Over 2,000 website views;
233 people who attended an event (see display boards here);
207 People’s Panel applications.
Recurring themes put forward included creating a diverse local economy which works all year round, for everyone; job creation with a particular focus on tackling youth unemployment and expansion of the creative industry.
The Margate Town Deal Board appointed PRD, an independent regeneration consultancy who will work in tandem with architecture and urbanism practice We Made That, to prepare the Town Investment Plan. They will work with the council and the Board and use the feedback from the community and stakeholder engagement to produce a case for investment.
A People Dem Collective cultural centre at the former Primark building in Margate, skateparks, pedestrianision and rewilding the coastline are just some of the ideas that have been put forward to be considered as part of the funding bid.
Cllr Ruth Duckworth, Cabinet Member for Corporate Governance & Coastal Development at Thanet District Council said: “The prospect of £25 million government investment is a huge opportunity to support further investment and job prospects in Margate. We are committed to producing an ambitious Town Investment Plan that explains how funding of up to £25 million would support the delivery of a string of transformative projects which would bring long lasting benefits to the whole of Margate.
“We want to do justice to the number of projects submitted and use all of the feedback received from our residents and the wider community to help shape the thrust of our Bid. We have therefore decided to submit the Plan in December to ensure it represents the ambition, knowledge and expertise of everyone who has taken the time to get involved in our engagement process so far.”
Margate Town Deal People’s Panel has now been formed and will meet (virtually) for the first time today (October 5). The panel is made up of 50 members selected at random to broadly represent the wider population.
Graham Razey, Chairman of the Margate Town Deal Board said:”As a Town Deal Board we are required to ensure that the case we are putting forward to central government includes the views of Margate’s communities. These views must help to inform the evidence of what is required to help build and grow the town’s economy.
“The ideas and suggestions received will be used to build up a picture of Margate to feed into how we can best meet the Government’s criteria and deliver the maximum positive impact for the town’s economic future.
“We are really pleased by the fantastic response to our call for the People’s Panel and, whilst it’s now closed for new applications, the membership will be reviewed throughout the lifetime of the Town Deal to ensure it reflects this wonderful, diverse community.”