Thanet council agrees to move forward with Cliftonville skatepark plan

Skatepark plan for Cliftonville (Image skater Twiggy Photo by Ben Wilks)

Thanet council Cabinet members have agreed to move forward with plans for a skatepark in Cliftonville.

The park will be at the former crazy golf site in Ethelbert Crescent and will be run by a CIC created by Dan Cates and Nic Powley of Margate Skateboard Club.

It is one of the projects being carried out as part of the £22 million Margate Town Deal.

The skatepark proposal received support from Margate and Cliftonville communities and the National Skateboarding fraternity. A petition supporting the plans gained more than 3000 signatures.

It is one of the projects which aims to deal with some of the health inequalities in the area by promoting fitness and wellbeing, social engagement, local tourism, and also creating employment.

Margate Skateboard Club, headed by Nic Powley and Dane Cates who have previously provided advice and guidance to organisations like Skateboard GB, will hold a 20 year lease on the site.

The bid put in for the new skatepark was for £1million. The Town Deal granted £750,000 but there is also £100,000 match funding from artist Tracey Emin and  £59,000 from the council’s capital programme which was previously earmarked for a Margate skatepark.

At a meeting last night (February 22) council leader Ash Ashbee thanked artist Tracey Emin for her £100,000 donation towards the project, saying: “I’d like to thank Tracey Emin for her contribution to this because without that I don’t think this would have happened.”

She added that she was looking forward to the first world champion coming out of Cliftonville skatepark.

Margate Skateboard Club will also undertake fundraising for construction, community engagement, running events and activities on the site and supporting a programme to encourage people of all ages into skateboarding to improve wellbeing.

Thanet council owns the former putting site.

The Margate Skateboard Club plans include a toilet and a kiosk with the kiosk having a hub for staff of the CIC to support community engagement activities and deliver health and wellbeing programmes.

Income from the kiosk will be used to maintain the toilets and the Skatepark, covering running and maintenance costs.


  1. It is a relief to see TDC granting a 20 year lease, in which it must include terms protecting the community’s interests, rather than a freehold, such as it gave to GRASS CIC for “The Oval”, in which it could not.
    As a dismissed member of the Margate Town Deal People’s Panel, I was concerned and right that £750K was insufficient for the skatepark, whilst what do GRASS need £500K for at “The Oval”? The community restored and maintained it before it was taken from public ownership. I believe it essential for the skatepark development to succeed with sufficient funds, whilst GRASS CIC should be similarly required to cover “The Oval’s” running and maintenance costs, from their income, not from a public handout of £500K on top of the prime seafront property they were gifted by TDC.

    • Oh Peter zip it ! GRASS are doing a fantastic job loving everything they are doing I live looking over the Oval and they are making it the best in years.

      • And so they should with all the funding they receive.
        With another half a million in the pipeline you will be getting International stars appearing on the bandstand and their drinks bar will get bigger and bigger!.

        • How is £500,000 justified out of the Margate Town Deal for the Oval? Just look around Cliftonville and see the derelict historical shelters, the missing pieces of the towns history and architecture just left to disintegrate. The promenades are filthy with what bins there are not emptied, the toilets closed. This funding has not been proportionate, we will still see a dirty unloved Cliftonville through council doing.

          • Absolutely agree Kent Resident.
            That £500,000 could be better spent on the historical shelters,opening of the toilets, the lift being repaired and in operation, not just for people who live in the flats to look out on a better site.
            I have been told that one of the group, who are now called Directors Cliftonville CIC, GRASS serves on the Margate Town Deal Board.
            Somebody asked if Directors CIC can be paid a salary. I googled and yes, they can.

    • I know so many within the community of Cliftonville indeed of Thanet, who were absolutely amazed that TDC ‘gifted’ the prime 4 acre site of the Oval Lawns and bandstand to any community group, not even the incumbent group of 25 years.
      It was gifted freehold to the group GRASS and at no cost save solicitors fees which were crowd funded, so costing the group GRASS nothing. Most residents in Cliftonville know that the bandstand was replaced in 2006 with funding obtained by Cliftonville Residents Association for TDC, who did not maintain it.
      Why did they have to hand it over to any group is beyond me.
      As Peter has said the group GRASS should maintain the site and pay for all that happens there out of their own funds.
      They should not receive £500,000 from the Margate Town Deal Board, for what?
      I feel so sorry for the farmers market which was in effect ‘ousted’ from the site where they had held their market for 20 years.
      What TDC did to them was deplorable.
      They handed the whole site over to GRASS at no cost, incumbent group ousted, having to move to another site, which I am told they now have to pay £250 per month to hold their ‘not for profit’ community run market.
      Well done TDC!

      Can anybody tell me if Directors CIC’s can be paid a salary?

      I do hope the skate park is a success though.

      I would much rather the half a million pounds awarded to GRASS from the MTDB could go to the Winter Gardens, who hold indoor events which can run all year round.

    • Can someone tell me how the lease is to be paid with this park being open free to users? We understand the operating costs and insurance are to be covered by the use of the workspace but Is TDC taking the price of the 20 year lease from the funding for the leisure activity or is it giving it free so at least the seafront land is being used rather than it staying derelict?

  2. Such a pity that this skatepark will destroy the diversity that is thriving on the wasteland of the old crazy golf site. Why can’t we just leave nature to run wild? Why?

    • ‘Ben Dover’, ‘Anna Glypta’, ‘Jenny Talia’. Will the hilarity never end? It’s clearly the same person with all these boomer humour aliases. Imagine having to make up imaginary friends so that someone agrees with you. Lol!
      PS – are they all Peter Checksfield?

    • I second that and if Tracey Emin reads these comments, there is an excellent Farmers Market in Cliftonville who desperately need funding towards a storage shed for their equipment they use for their market.
      I know they have to leave the storage site on the Oval Lawns soon.
      I am sure they would be pleased to see Tracey at the market held behind the Walpole Bay Hotel.

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