Margate venue Faith in Strangers gets ready to open to the public

Faith in Strangers

By Dan Thompson

A Margate venue that had to delay its opening because of lockdown is planning a launch in May, after receiving grants totalling more than £160,000 from the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.

Faith In Strangers originally opened as a workspace in November 2019, with membership from £120 a month, but closed before announcing a public programme.

Ahead of a May 2021 opening, the venue have announced that while still opening as a workspace during the day, at night Faith In Strangers will transform into a new live music venue. The space, fitted out with a sound system and mood lighting, will be fully equipped to live stream performances.

“We’ve been crafting this for nearly 3 years now. The lockdown has been tough for many and we’re happy we can provide a new space for the neighbourhood,” says co-founder Jeremy Duffy, “When we talk about a cultural venue, it’s not about having high brow art or the latest trend… It’s about exploring the things people can enjoy together, making memories and sharing moments.”

As well as music, the programme will include performance and talks, and in-house facilities will mean everything can be recorded, edited and broadcast online.

The 350 capacity venue will be open to the public from May. It is in the old Frank’s Nightclub, on Ethelbert Crescent, Margate.

Faith In Strangers will open for table ser­vice on May 20 with a full capac­i­ty launch on June 24th (subject to restrictions being lifted). Initially the bar will be open Thurs­day – Sat­ur­day from 6pm, with plans to expand as the year progresses.

For more details visit

*CORRECTION: The daytime work spaces are via membership but the evening venue is open to everyone.


  1. £160k for a nightclub and private members club this is wrong they took money that was desperately needed by other organisations that actually work with the wider community.

    The owners own multiple businesses in London and were hardly strapped for cash …. shame on them.

    Many local businesses and community groups refuse to work with this organisation they have move to a deprived area and taken funding away.

  2. Exactly.
    And how many can afford £120 a month membership? And how can £160K funding be justified when there are so many going hungry?
    Makes no sense at all. Except of course for the owners!

    • The area has attracted very different people to what many imagine, I’ve had several tenants looking to move here from london, had incomes beyond the imagination of your usual cliftonvillites, could’nt believe they got twice the space for half or less london rents. They think cliftonville is charming and safe with the bonus of “awesome” buildings that would cost millions in london.
      Some have stayed bought homes and raised families here, other missed the hustle and bustle of london and genuinely shocked by tumbleweed margate from october to march returned to the big city. All really nice people with aspirations and goals.

  3. X/Patty/Jan, almost certainly because of the “A” word (Art!). If it was still a grab-a-granny nightclub (which apparently had its charm), then it wouldn’t have a hope in hell of getting any government help.

    • The proper “grab a granny” were tuesday nights at 1st’s or Peggy’s on a tuesday , but generally frequented by anyone with any money left by tuesday. Or the mighty Winchester / Caprice on just about any night. Thorleys and Franks just catered for a mixed crowd, thurdays being the big draw.
      As for its current use and accessing available funding, just run by people who know how to get the best out of stuff. Though remains to be seen if they’ve judged the market and appetite for what they offer in cliftonville right. If they have and the area becomes home to multitudes of like minded creatives then happy days, cliftonville west might at long last be on a sustainable upward trajectory. For purely selfish self interest i wish them well, but i’d trade that for the Franks/Thorleys of old in an instant. ( late 80’s / early 90’s Gordon Road underwent a transformation and all the crowd i kicked around with covetted the notion of living there ( so close to franks) , that soon changed, though hopefully again its an area on the up)
      Random aside – used to be a chap that watched nightclubbers parking in Dalby Square safe in the knowledge he could break into the cars around midnight with no chance of getting caught.

  4. So at £120 a month and capacity of 350, that’s £42,000 a month and £504,000 a year. They had a grant of more than £160,000. Really does add up and this in Thanet, Londoner’s moving in to try and make money. But more importantly they should be made to pay back that grant and some, sickening money goes to money, the rest of us still have to struggle.

    • Chris
      £504,000 membership fees correct but just say if they spend just a £10 a week on 2 drinks that’s £182,000 a year ! That’s a turn over of 686k per year. Or they spent £20 a week turn over of £950,000 a year !.

      Why does a pub/private member club get a 160k grant ? Something seems odd about this

      Yet we read on here of foodbanks needing help or somewhere to be based or self help group needing funding etc etc yet a private members club gets a 160k grant when its turn over of members spending just a tenner a week is 686k if the membership spend 20quid week its 950k

      • PS its says membership from 120 aweek so that’s the cheapest membership ,I guess there must be more expensive memberships available !

        That would mean the 504k membership fee is only if everyone took the lowest available.

    • Re: the membership fees. It’s £120 for the co-working amenities, of which – due to space – I’m guessing is capped at around 100 people. £30/week for a desk, internet, etc is cheaper than most places I’ve rented.

  5. Just scandalous, words fail me when so many were given nothing, no help whatsoever. If the owners were genuine they would hand back this grant to the taxpayers.
    I thought you needed to be up and running a business for a year or two beforehand to be able to claim recovery money for having to close, this business hasn’t even started yet so how have they swindled this?, just like RSP taking millions recovery money for an airport that doesn’t exist!

  6. I am nothing to do with this space and not a member but I have to say that the enmity expressed here is baffling. The £120 a month is for co-working space as well as the venue. For serviced office space anywhere in the UK that is not a high price. No different to other serviced offices in the area either. It sounds like they applied for government support because presumably they have made zero money for twelve months. Whether you like them or not they have invested substantially in the area and created the kind of space that is attractive to all kinds of people and makes the area more of a draw. This creates jobs. This brings money. The customers may not be your best mates. The owners may not be to your taste. But don’t berate them for (a) setting up an interesting business int he area and (b) then trying to keep it open. Even if they have resources no business can sustain itself on zero income.

  7. I never understand the negative comments to things like this & Dreamland which help to draw money into local the local area & make it a better place. Pretty much every business in the country has recieved government money to stay afloat so why not them? Also the £120 thing sounds elitist but the concept is that you are buying a place to work during the day. Much less expensive than the cost of commuting, with the bonus of those great views & being able to work near home. Btw i have no link to the place, other than potential interest in signing up.

  8. As far as i can see it’s not a private members club. This is on the FAQ of their website – ‘We aren’t a members bar. We’ll be open to the public from 6pm, Thursday – Saturday. During the working week we are a Workspace which is membership based, like other coworking spaces.’

  9. Apologies, there was an error in this article. The workspaces are via a membership arrangement but the evening venue is open to everyone. This has now been corrected

  10. Simple answer to all the comments is IF YOU DONT LIKE IT DONT USE IT .the way I see it and its only an opinion thanet needs commerce not necessarily industry because we are trying to resist thanet as a holiday resort so light commercial endeavours are welcome ,but this is just my take on the situation ,but I do agree that any grant to a business venture should be repayable to its source

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