Thanet District Council has today (June 18), submitted two bids to the government’s Levelling Up Fund for a total of £26.1million.
As there are two parliamentary constituency areas in Thanet, the council was able to put forward two bids that were backed by the local MP’s.
The two bids submitted include a package bid for Ramsgate which includes proposals for a ‘green’ port, a harbour boutique hotel and restaurant and community access points in Newington and central Ramsgate.
A single project bid for Margate is for a specialist industry-focused centre positioned in Margate High Street.
Package bid for Ramsgate – £19.8m funding
There are three components to the bid for Ramsgate:
Investment in Port infrastructure to create a Green Port which will provide a hub for innovation and training, allied to a modern hybrid Port, supporting renewable energy and zero carbon maritime logistics.
Investing jointly with the private sector Thanet council aims to create a Green Campus including a Centre of Excellence for offshore operations and maintenance, space for innovation in low carbon logistics and a hub for green business. The council says this investment will unlock the opportunity to provide real economic growth, job creation and training places in the heart of Ramsgate.
The Royal Harbour
Thanet council is seeking investment to link buildings within the harbour area to develop new and distinctive visitor assets that will provide important new training and employment pathways for residents.
A new boutique hotel and a high end restaurant and a brasserie will provide apprenticeships and in work training in hospitality. These will be accompanied by investment in quayside fishing facilities to enable the local fleet to store and sell their catch, as well as providing new fishing and maritime jobs and training to support the growth and resilience of the town’s fishing community.
New public realm adjacent to a refurbished clocktower will create a new town square, as well as connecting projects and reducing congestion within the centre.
Assets to Connect to Opportunity
Thanet council is proposing to invest in two community access points including one at Newington and one in central Ramsgate. These will provide the spaces for people to access information and first stage activity as part of wider career development. This will include training kitchens, community teaching space, opportunities for intermediate labour markets and information exchange, as well as space for existing local charities to operate out of.
The project team received 14 letters of support for the bid from private, public, and voluntary sector organisations along with Craig Mackinlay MP.
The council commissioned independent consultants PRD Ltd and We Made That to prepare the Ramsgate Future Levelling Up Fund bid, as well as develop a wider and longer term Investment Plan for the town.
Following today’s submission, work will continue to develop the wider Town Investment Plan for Ramsgate and there will be opportunities for the public and businesses to engage further.
For information on this process and to get involved, the project team are contactable at email@example.com or you can visit the web pages, firstname.lastname@example.org which will be updated as the Plan is developed.
Bid for Margate – £6.3m funding ask
The bid for Margate is for the Margate Digital project; a specialist industry-focused centre positioned in Margate High Street.
Thanet District Council, in partnership with the EKC Group and The Margate School, aims to create 2,000 sq m of cutting-edge, industry-relevant training space which will focus on digital technology.
The shared space will link with local businesses, and TDC says increased footfall will enhance the town centre, making it more attractive to residents, visitors and businesses.
The campus will deliver a range of technical qualifications, including specialised T Levels in Animation, Architecture, Programming, Coding, Graphics, Marketing, TV and Film, and offer progression to Level 4 and 5 provision by introducing new Higher Technical Qualifications, supported by a government-backed brand and quality mark to meet the higher-level skills of industry.
Sir Roger Gale MP is championing this bid for Margate.
Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Ash Ashbee said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the district. Being identified as a priority one area for the Levelling Up Fund by the Government demonstrates the support we require to be able to start a plan of recovery due to the Covid pandemic and to try and turn the fortunes around for Thanet.
“The council has worked with our communities, having engaged with 800 residents, businesses and organisations in Ramsgate and with its stakeholders, such as EKC Group to put forward two very compelling bids to the Levelling Up Fund. A heartfelt thank you to everyone that has contributed to the community and stakeholder engagement and provided letters of support or information to help inform our bid.
“We have the full backing and support from both our local MPs, Craig Mackinlay and Sir Roger Gale in the development and submissions of these bids and we look forward to hearing more from central government on the proposals we have submitted.
“Thanet is a fantastic place to live, and with the proposals contained in these two bids we aim to make the biggest difference to all of our communities, businesses and stakeholders. If successful, this could help to make a real difference in the district’s economy, providing job and training opportunities for as many people as possible, in diverse sectors of our economy”.
The Levelling Up Fund
The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund aims to provide investment for local infrastructure which will have a visible impact on people and their communities across the UK. This includes a range of high value local investment priorities, for local transport schemes, urban regeneration projects and cultural assets.
The Fund is jointly managed by HM Treasury (HMT), the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Department for Transport (DfT). It is a competitive programme and applicants are expected to find out in the autumn of this year if bids have been successful.
The funding will be prioritised based on their level of need and Thanet was identified as a Category 1 place.
More funding to be squandered with nothing to show for it. Someone will be even better off but not the communities that should. We need new administration made up by independent holders of funds who will be transparent !
i expect they are dipping thier grubby little fingers in to it already , then we will have the ” fees ” and ” consultants ” etc it will soon go.
I wonder if the cynicism exhibited by so many commenters on this paper is common all over England. I don’t understand it, as councillors are voted in by the public.
In my opinion Marva, yes the Councillors are voted in but they appear unable to keep TDC Officers in check.
We’ve seen it many times before where the Fees/Consolations are wasted.
I know it won’t happen but I would like to see the full accounts published for Thanet to see.
Handy if ramsgate get some cash, they need to pay for bretts new aggregate pontoon (£2m +) and possibly compensation.
Really i did vote for a well respected, clued up, pragmatic, can do attitude councillor but more votes went to a person with far less ability.
The press release from TDC summarizes what we, that is RTC, know of the bid.
Now that the bid has been submitted, we hope that it will be published in full as the press summary raises many questions.
The £6.1M bid for a Margate Digital Project certainly causes concern if not exactly a surprise. One wonders which of the three strands to the Ramsgate bid would be dropped should Government stick to the £20M limit to the grant.
Equally concerning is the item in the relevant cabinet minute that emphasises that there will be NO offer of match funding from TDC for any of the Ramsgate Bid. One wonders if this is true of the Margate bid also. As much of both bids involve TDC owned property, and most regeneration projects involve offering public land and property as match funding, one wonders what this statement means for the likely success or otherwise.
There is a view that any investment will be good for the Town, and although RTC’s suggestions have largely been ignored, there is some good in the proposals; securing sustainable jobs in “renewable energy and zero carbon maritime logistics” would be welcome and if the energy companies are truly on board, may even succeed.
RTC has supported the redevelopment of Pier Yard as a town space, and facilities to introduce quayside fishing facilities. We are not sure if our suggestion of a creating a direct access to the East Pier from Harbour Parade has been adopted. A high-end restaurant, boutique hotel and brasserie does not inspire the imagination.
Developing the TDC owned facility in Newington is welcome, but effort must be made to make it less exclusive and open to a wider community especially the equally deprived Whitehall estate.
We support a similar facility in the Town Centre and stand ready to be involved if asked.
The new Cabinet at TDC are yet to endorse the broader Ramsgate Regeneration programme launched by the previous regime. We have suggested a Cabinet Advisory group to take this forward and would welcome some involvement. We will be inviting the new Cabinet Member, Cllr Pugh to meet with us at his earliest convenience.
No TDC contribution for the Margate project either
I bet someone is getting a really nice back hander, actually probably a few people!!!!!!. And it’s all done for the community 🤥. We all know with projects like this it doesn’t benefit the working class in these areas just another way of the rich getting richer shame on u. It would be interesting how much the bid cost tdc, and where every single penny was spent , lunches /dinners Etc, and that’s not even going into if they are successful in the bid. For the people 🤪
I had the pea fritter starter £6 followed by an 8 sausage pile up into a barrier of mustard mash £12.5 followed by pebbled dashed Richard £5.5 washed down with a Southern Water expresso Putini £7.5
I think that there’s a opportunity been missed in this bid – interesting that the Government prospectus says “we will prioritise projects which are able to demonstrate investment or begin delivery on the ground in the 2021-22 financial year”.
so I wouldn’t be holding my breath that we (Ramsgate) will get any money at all !!
Like others have said this is a nice amount of money that could start to do some good things, however in a few I think we will be looking and scratching our heads as to where the money has gone.
Voters don’t seem to learn though.
I sincerely hope Thanet Councillors & Officers read the above comments and get the message, very doubtful sadly.
I hope there will be no housing at the port, just a lot of clean industries.