Government approves £6.9million Creative Land Trust scheme for Margate

The Trust will provide business space for those in Margate's creative industries

A £6.9million Creative Land Trust scheme for Margate has had its business case approved by government.

The Creative Land Trust is one of the projects put forward as part of the £22million Margate Town Deal. It will take on underused or empty properties through outright purchase of freehold properties or long leases, or through properties gifted or transferred to the Trust by public or private partners.

These will be used as affordable commercial space for creative industries and support services. Thanet council says the Trust will be bringing empty properties back into use, generating investment in the town centre and creating jobs and training opportunities.

Margate’s Creative Land Trust will support creatives including design, music, publishing, architecture, film and video, crafts, visual arts, fashion, TV and radio, advertising, literature, computer games and the performing arts.

The project is the first business case to be approved for the Margate Town Deal.

Margate was one of 101 places given the opportunity in 2019 to bid for funding of up to £25 million as part of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund. The fund aims to support urban regeneration, skills development and improved connectivity by giving each place its own Town Deal.

The successful of the bid  was announced as part of the Government’s Town Deal programme in the Chancellor’s Budget in March last year.

WorkWild Ltd and PRD Ltd were commissioned by the Margate Town Deal Board to help set-up the Creative Land Trust and to draft the business case. Work includes the development of governance arrangement and all the other requirements for a new entity, including setting it up as a charitable company and putting together a Board of Trustees. The Creative Land Trust will be independent and will appoint a Board.

A Thanet council statement says: “Since receiving project sign-off, we have submitted an application to the Charity Commission to set up the Margate Creative Land Trust (MCLT) as a charity.

“The aim of the Trust is to support and grow a wide range of creative practices and ensure that many more local people have opportunities to participate in the arts.

“The team at WorkWild, which is working with the council to set-up the Trust, put out a competitive tender to develop a project website and logo last month. They received 14 submissions and a Margate based web designer, Kate Williamson, was selected.

“We are delighted to say that the MCLT website is now live and the next job is to look for Trustees.

“If you’re passionate about securing Margate’s creative economy and ensuring more people have opportunities in the creative industries then this is the opportunity for you.

“As a Trustee, you will  provide ongoing strategic direction and critical challenge to ensure the Creative Land Trust has the biggest impact possible.”

For more information, go to The deadline to apply is Monday 4 April and interviews will take place on 11 and 12 April.

The Margate Town Deal team aims to submit the business cases for the remaining projects next month.


  1. Was getting excited than it said for the creative industry. So the art sector again.

    I feel so sorry for other sectors of our community as all the money just goes on the art sector. You begin to feel unwanted.

  2. I wonder how many Social homes that amount of money could have built, Social homes that hundreds of Thanet families in temporary accommodation outside of Thanet, costing Thanet Tax payers millions a year.
    The Art world can look after itself in Thanet.

  3. The money only ever goes to one thing because TDC & KCC have put all their eggs in one basket-the arts & virtue signaling/woke/victim mentality minority groups. That description sounds like it is aimed at the minority of the area chasing pie in the sky ideas that will never happen here-such as fashion, television & performing arts & not the majority who want actual realistic employment.

    Will there be jobs, or is it just the usual get a piece of paper for one course that has no bearing in the real world-especially a deprived area like Thanet & then do another one as there is a bottomless pit of funding? You can pretend Thanet is Brighton or London, with lots of top level arty types & galleries, but the reality is that it isn’t.

    • As I’ve said before, I have NO problem with artists being funded by public money – as long as there is a proper viable business plan. Unfortunately, most of it is like throwing polyfilla down a canyon.

      • Yet KCC has been a Tory-run County Council since, well, possibly 1066 when they arrived. And the Conservatives have been the government for 30 out of the last 43 years.
        So how come they can be accused of “virtue-signalling/woke/minority groups/victim mentality” etc (I can’t recall it all, it’s like a Daily Mail word salad.)
        But the Conservatives get their votes by saying they are against that sort of thing. They bang on about defending the public AGAINST the “woke minority victims ” or whatever they mean.
        And they are VERY keen on “realistic business plans etc”.
        So how come, after another 12 years of Conservative government, there are still people complaining that they are just too “woke/minority virtue signalling/victim mentality etc”.Just how Right Wing do you have to be to think that the Tories are too soft on minority groups, just too “woke”?
        They will be accused of being too caring and compassionate next!
        Perhaps the explanation is that they SAY they are concerned and will even spend money on creative industries in a forlorn hope that it will stimulate some kind of economic revival. But they don’t actually BELIEVE that the state should really help people or deprived areas.
        So we don’t see new jobs or new prosperity because they are waiting for the private businessmen to come up with the real cash. Some hopes!

      • Artist being the operative word-actual talented artists, but they don’t seem to be very popular with the modern art luvvies running these things-the money goes to people whose work resembles kids vomiting on a wall & those with the right name.

  4. This yet again: “The aim of the Trust is to support and grow a wide range of creative practices and ensure that many more local people have opportunities to participate in the arts.” In other words, to bring in more well-off creative types while getting the hoi polloi to stop moaning about the over-emphasis on ‘creativity’ by, somehow or other, involving them.
    I’d feel more involved if the Turner Contemporary had more coherent exhibitions. By which I do NOT mean ‘safer’ necessarily, just better-planned and more varied exhibitions and events that appeal to a range of tastes and interests.
    Some years ago, while visiting the TC with a friend, we were asked if we’d like to participate in some sort of something, I can’t remember how it was described. So participate we did. It involved scrabbling around the floor pretending to be monkey or a tiger, picking at imaginary fleas, roaring, that sort of thing. Afterwards we all sat in a circle and shared our feelings about being a monkey or a tiger.
    This local person is now warier of participating in the arts in this town. I paint and draw, I really like some fairly out there artists, but that whatever it was was just fake ‘art’ and there’s a lot of fakery around.

  5. Yeah, Margate gets the money AGAIN, whilst Ramsgate is struggling to keep a single building in the community! Just PATHETIC is the only word, which comes to mind…

  6. Serious question for the arty people

    I can paint on other peoples properties, I can leave my bed unmade, I can tip a pile of rubbish on the floor.

    But instead of being called a great artist, I was arrested for graffiti, divorced for the state of our bed and done for fly tipping.

  7. Art ?, you’ve obviously got talent, bin bags full of it. Stop moaning and get out there. You gotta dress right … practice posing moodily for the camera … And remember, it’s not who you are, it’s Who You Know, so start schmoozing, start today. Sniff out the movers and shakers & flatter the hell out of ’em. And publicise your ‘practice’ non-stop even if you’re not actually doing anything.
    Good luck with your career.

  8. So Margate gets more and more cash while other areas face deprivation and closed shops. I have no idea what the arty groups contribute to the area apart from self congratulations at persuading gullible politicians that art being displayed at the TC is worthy of being seen.

  9. Cheer up Ramsgate – you too are to benefit from Mr Gove’s largesse – hopefully Margate’s infusion from the Town Deal will address two major concerns – the decrepit High Street and poor skills training. The Creative Land Trust has been invited to contribute to a REINVENTION SYMPOSIUM at The Margate School in June for National Civic Day and further revelations are eagerly awaited. Thanet’s reputation as a cultural and creative destination can only be further enhanced to wider economic benefit ? The recent ACE/SELEP Report stresses the conrtribution that the creatives can make to the revival of civic assets – Margate Old Town Hall cries out as a museum annexe for a chap called J M W Turner and I daresay Ramsgate has its own hobby horses.

  10. I think it is a good idea, but I would like to see where it is all going, is there any clue about it _ no so we will have to wait and see ! Any they going to do more art and life drawing classes ?:

  11. As usual, the anonymous curmudgeons among us decrying the lack of jobs, lack of social housing etc, but always forget to realise Margate and most coastal towns need employers in various industries for its (especially young) populace to thrive. Instead, most would rather see the money wasted on social housing and foster a culture of benefit reliance in perpetuity.

    All things considered, and in the malignant absence of new employers roosting here, the arts grant is fantastic for Margate, and hopefully a burgeoning culture of nascent creativity will rubber stamp her fortunes in a newer direction away from the pitiful wasteland of hopelessness and despair.

    Many would sneer at an emergent generation of arty types while they sip cheap tea typing out the next pointless miserable screed bound for this forum, but if your future of Margate doesn’t resonate with what’s appnin’ yo then … LEAVE!!!

  12. We have the giant waste of money (turner center) already, people will be choosing between feeding the family and heating the homeless crisis is at an insane lvl because of the cost of private renting, our kids will struggle to go to school and people to work because of the cost of fuel but yes please add some spaces to sell art that no one wants or can actually afford to buy rather than invest in local housing and building schools

  13. Wish I hadn’t nitpicked about one silly phrase, I think Woodchippers Can Hurt’s post came as a shock.

    I recall the large council estate of my childhood – decent homes, plenty of green space, okay amenities & transport connections. Many who grew up there thrived, prospered and have contributed greatly to society. And I’m sure some work in the creative industries as it happens. How on earth do you reach the conclusion that good, relatively affordable homes constitute ‘money wasted on social housing and foster a culture of benefit reliance in perpetuity’?

    What do you want – social cleansing?

  14. I don’t go to phone shops, kebab shops and betting shops. Nor do most of the people I know. So what?

  15. How much money was spent and wasted on that monstrosity of a building that cost us tax payers loads of money to house a filthy bed with a used comdom our wonderful council has completely ruined MARGATE lost dreamland lost Lido lost the pier the sun deck used to be a great day out now it’s a day out at the sewage beach

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