Margate residents invited to join Town Deal People’s Panel in £22.2m project

Margate Photo Frank Leppard

Members of the Margate community, including anyone who lives or works in Margate, are being invited to join the Margate Town Deal People’s Panel.

The Town Investment Plan has secured up to £22.2m of funding as part of the Government’s Town Deal programme. It is now looking to recruit new panel members to work with the Margate Town Deal Board up to March 2022 to support the delivery of the Town Investment Plan and ensure they ‘Make it Margate’.

The People’s Panel, which was formed in October 2020, during the first part of the Margate Town Deal journey, will now be expanded. It will be made up of over 50 people who represent the Margate community as the deal progresses to its next phase, which includes developing Business Cases for the selected projects.

The Panel’s role is to help the Board understand public opinions and put forward their ideas to ensure the Town Investment Plan Board decisions reflect Margate. Members of the panel will take part in meetings and complete surveys.

Members of the Panel are selected at random to ensure it is reflective of Margate’s diverse community. The Town Deal Board is specifically encouraging applications from people who are under 30 years old or from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Dreamland CEO Eddie Kemsley, Chair of the  People’s Panel and member of the Margate Town Deal Board said: “This is a very exciting phase as we start to deliver the selected projects which make up the Town Investment Plan for Margate. We have been committed to ensuring the views of the people in the Margate community are included throughout this process, so it is an ideal time to call on new members to join us.

“It is a real opportunity for anyone who lives or works in Margate to have their say on how aspects of the Town Investment Plan will progress and is a key way for us as the Margate Town Deal Board to ensure that all ideas and perspectives are considered. It’s crucial that the wonderful and diverse community in Margate have their voices heard and that we truly Make it Margate, so please apply now!”

To ensure the panel is representative, there is an online application form which asks for demographic details. The application is anonymised during the application process and a random sample will be selected on the basis of Margate’s demographic profile.

As the People’s Panel is not a decision making body, its membership will not be made public. There are some exceptions for people who can apply. Details can be found on the website.

Read the Town Investment Plan for Margate

To join the panel, visit or complete the application form.


Among the projects selected for the Town Deal funding are those below. Thees are described in the Town Deal Plan as:

£4m Dreamland Initial funding to refurbish cinema, bingo hall, and café spaces to provide locations for new visitor exhibitions, dining and cultural experiences. Investment will underpin the case for new hotel spaces at this nationally unique visitor attraction. Funding enables removal of asbestos and improves publicly accessible spaces. It will fit out two significant spaces and support the delivery of a new cultural centre for and by Margate’s black and brown community under People Dem Collective.

£2m to improve Theatre Royal and Hawley Square: Improvements to the Theatre Royal and environs to create a new hub of theatrical production.

£1.1m Access Walpole: Improved facilities and access to the coastline at the Walpole tidal pool area and surrounds Improved facilities for supporting active lifestyles includes upgrades to the lower promenade and surrounds including Hodges Gap, facilities for swimmers and pool access, restored Walpole Bay steps and Grade II listed lift. 2.2

£500k Oval Bandstand and lawns, skatepark and playground area includes the Community Asset Transfer of Oval Bandstand and Lawns for GRASS to run a multipurpose community hub and £750k skate boarding facilities.

These projects may have been subject to updates since the original Town Plan was published. Further details are due to be released shortly.


  1. Why people under 30. ? Why not a cross section of members of the public all with varying skills required to manage a large sum of public money. ?

    • Under 30 & ethnic minority-because anybody over 30 & white is considered irrelevant. Should have been made clear by all the Dem Margate Collective etc propaganda over the last year or so & the young ‘creative’ stuff more recently-we all know where the money is going-on the arts & wokeness, it is just a box ticking exercise. The rest if us aren’t sexy enough.

  2. Members of the Panel are selected at random to ensure it is reflective of Margate’s diverse community.

    Is that the Margate composed of 95% Caucasians? Well they all seem to be white so that fits. How ironic they boast of diversity, but not one non-white on it, guess it must just be males & females that makes it diverse. How exactly are very rich David Smith OBE, Roger Gale, Victoria Pomery OBE, Edie Kemsley & a bunch of also very well remunerated high-ups at KCC, TDC & QEQM remotely representative of a run down area, where most are either unemployed or on low wages?

    There is nothing random about these people being on the board-it is to ensure the money goes to the arts & minority woke/virtue signalling niche interests that play well to the media & certain sections of society, as it has the last decade or so-isn’t it a conflict of interest to Have Pomery & Kemsley basically voting to give themselves & their arty buddies more money?

    • Surely in order to represent Margate’s diverse community the board needs to include :

      A drug addict
      An alcoholic
      A single mother
      An Eastern European
      An ex-convict
      A lesbian
      A homosexual
      A transsexual
      A transvestite
      A Jew
      A Muslim
      A disabled person
      A pensioner
      etc., etc.

      Instead of all this box ticking nonsense, whatever happened to just selecting the person most suited, best qualified or most experienced for the job ? ? ?

    • As my comment below. How about Eli who runs the Soul Weekend in Margate. He spent years building this event which actually benefits a lot of businesses in Margate. Gay Pride? A respected event which year on year grows. Winter Gardens. Biggest and most historic entertainment venue in Kent owned by TDC (think it has a preservation order on it, but could be wrong) . How much did they get??????

  3. I’m white, not ethnic minority, not transgender, not Moslem definitely not woke and definitely over 30 – not worth applying for a panel that is being selected to form a panel guaranteed to give the answers required by the Town Deal committee to ssqssquander £25 million

    • If you put white, over 30 & heterosexual you will not get invited back-well, unless you are wealthy & high up in local or regional politics that is. You can see by the survey questions exactly who they want.

  4. Why is Dreamland, a private company, in with a shout for 4 million quid?
    Am I missing something?

    • We all are, Macawber. And with its chief exec as chairman of the People’s Panel, plus the usual gang of Pomery, Smith and co, this seems like a token gesture to pretend that the people of Margate support whatever it is they have alreay decided.

      • Exactly, now it just wants a few non-white/trans/gay etc young faces onboard for kudos & virtue signalling reasons/show how diverse it is-despite being predominantly rich & not so young white people.

    • Why is she allowed to sit on a panel/board deciding whether her debt ridden project she was previously fired/resigned from in 2016-not much more than a year after it reopened gets 4 million? No conflict of interest there whatsoever.

  5. So these decision makers are directing public money to their own businesses! The CEO of Dreamland is on the decision making panel who has claimed over £4,000,000 of these funds to do up their buildings, and after TDC has already spent thousands on them before selling the park off. How can this not be corrupt in the making of the list of beneficiaries. This throws the whole process up into another scandal of corruption of public money and Dreamland should be removed from benefiting. It’s a private company which paid peanuts to TDC for the park and buildings last year, and now are to receive a refund of half that purchase money from the public purse. How can this be possible? Unbelievable!

    • Probably need it to repay Arrowgrass, or whatever Cayman, Bermuda etc hedge fund they sell the debts onto.

  6. Insulting the real people of Thanet, hope government see what’s happening and recall the ££££££. Yet we know it’s all a joke

  7. All of the above is very correct. But I think most miss the point. This was never going to be about what every day normal people of Margate wanted. No one is investigating what is happening. (we used to have local press that would investigate – where are they now? Someone somewhere (you all know who that is) is earning a lot of money out of this and (I could be wrong) a MP is on this panel and thinks this is all good and right!. How the hell did this get to happen? I used to travel all over the country working and as a reference I would say TDC know me. In one meeting (2002) I was taken to one side in one of these meetings and told – that is not a good reference. After all these years nothing has changed. PS I live in Ramsgate so no axe to grind just sheer disbelief . I just cant believe how Margate is getting screwed again.

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