New chairperson for Margate Town Deal Board announced

Margate Photo John Horton

A Thanet housing and development specialist has been appointed as the new chair of the Margate Town Deal Board.

Brian Horton, who has worked in senior positions in both the public and private sector, was appointed by Thanet council on November 17 and will play a leading role in taking forward the Town Deal projects that are being funded with £22.2m government money.

The funding was awarded after Thanet District Council  submitted its Town Investment Plan to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in December 2020 for a bid of £25 million.

In March this year it was announced that up to £22.2million had been agreed for Margate.

The Town Deal Board has  submitted its first Business Case Summary for the Creative Land Trust project and is now developing detailed business cases for the remaining projects for submission to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) in Spring 2022.

Those projects include renovation of Dreamland Cinema; investing in the Theatre Royal and a major project at Walpole Bay, which will secure long term affordable space for creative industries; a skatepark; options appraisal on Margate Winter Gardens; investing in the Theatre Royal and a major access scheme at Walpole Bay.

The funding will be spent over a five-year period, steered by the Margate Town Deal Board. The overall programme is managed by Thanet District Council as the lead accountable body.

The chairperson role is voluntary and the aim is to lead the Board and keep an overview of activities.

Outgoing interim Chair of Margate Town Deal, David Smith CBE, Kent County Council said: “It has been an honour and pleasure to chair the Town Deal Board’s work developing a long term and sustainable delivery plan for investment in  Margate’s regeneration. Following the successful allocation of £22.2 million of government funding, the Board has been searching for a Chair from the private sector, which is a condition of that funding. I am delighted that Brian Horton has accepted the Board’s invitation to become its Chair.

“Brian was born in Margate and spent the early part of his life in the town, and now lives in Birchington. He is particularly passionate about building partnerships and the Board looks forward to working with him as we embark on delivering the ambitious projects outlined in the Town Investment Plan.”

Brian Horton, said: “I am delighted to be appointed Chair of the Margate Town Deal Board and particularly pleased to be joining at such a pivotal time when we’re focused on the delivery of new and exciting projects across the town.

“I was born in Margate and I have a real passion and pride in my hometown.

“Margate is really buzzing with a growing ambition about what can be achieved. We will work collaboratively to build on this to create a strong and vibrant future for our town and its people.

“I am extremely grateful for all the hard work, community contributions and creative thinking that went into the Town Investment Plan. I am confident that it will help unlock further investment to secure Margate’s economic potential and improve the lives of everyone who lives, works and visits the town.”

Cllr Reece Pugh, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Thanet District Council added: “We’re so pleased to welcome Brian to the Board. He knows and loves Margate and shares the Board’s drive for achieving the best possible deal for its residents and businesses.”

For more information on the Margate Town Deal, visit www.margatetowndeal.co.uk.

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