Margate Town Deal Board chairman Graham Razey OBE has stepped down from the role.
The Board was set up in February 2020 following an announcement that Margate was one of 101 towns earmarked for a share of a £3.6billion government fund .
Its purpose was to oversee the creation of a Town Investment Plan which was then put forward to government for Margate’s funding bid.
Yesterday (March 10) Mr Razey, who is chief executive of EKC (East Kent Colleges) announced his departure from the Board.
The resignation comes at a time when many Town Deal Boards across the country are reviewing their governance structure and board membership in preparation for the next phase of the Town Deal process, which will involve developing full business cases.
Mr Razey said: “I’m overwhelmingly proud of the work the board has delivered in partnership with our local community and I feel immensely privileged to have been a part of the process.
“I have always been committed to working to enhance the Thanet district and feel that delivering the Town Investment Plan will catalyse that process for Margate. It is absolutely wonderful to know that I played a part in helping ensure Margate received funding for many of its Town Investment Plan initiatives, and I feel confident it will deliver transformational programmes now.
“As part of this, I believe I am better placed to help Margate continue to develop through the skills agenda. In line with that belief, I now feel there is another opportunity for me to better serve the community of Margate, so have taken the decision to stand down from the board.
“I will be moving my focus to an exciting new project which could see the delivery of new digital education provision within the town. I believe the plans for this are truly exciting for the local community, as it will help drive development of the digital industry through the delivery of the next generation of talented professionals.
“I will continue to follow the activities of the board in the future whilst remaining a passionate supporter and advocate of both Margate and the wider Thanet area.”
Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Rick Everitt, said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank Graham for his contribution and unwavering dedication while leading the board through such a pivotal phase of the Town Deal process for Margate.
“Just last week we celebrated the news that Margate could receive £22.2m of investment following our Town Investment Plan submission. This allocation of funding is testament to the collective hard work of the Project Team and Margate Town Deal Board, which Graham has chaired since its inception. Since becoming Chair, Graham has worked tirelessly with the board to create a clear vision reflective of the town’s community that will help deliver economic growth. And this has been capped by the successful bid for funding from Government as announced in the recent Budget. We wish him well with his future plans.”
The Towns fund aims to support urban regeneration, skills development and improved connectivity.
Interim arrangements for chairing the Board are to be discussed. Details around the recruitment of a permanent chair will be publicised in due course.