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.
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.