Business cases submitted to government for further Margate Town Deal projects

Investment for Margate Photo Stephen Todd

Further Margate Town Deal projects have now had business case documents submitted to government as the next step to having funding released.

Since the government’s £22.2m Margate funding offer in March 2021, work has been underway to develop ‘Green Book’  compliant Business Case Summary Documents – guidance issued by HM Treasury on how to appraise programmes and projects – for the following shortlisted projects:

Scaling creative production and skills (submitted)

Establishing a Creative Land Trust and Outreach, education and engagement programme (the £6.9m Business Case Summary was submitted in October 2021 and has now received government approval)

Improvements to the Theatre Royal (£2m)

Coastal wellbeing (submitted)

Improvements to Walpole Bay and testing new uses (£2.3m)

Oval Bandstand and Lawns (£500,000)

Skatepark (£750,000)

Active movement and connections (submitted)

A series of highway and public realm interventions (£5.3m)

Heritage assets

Repurposing the cinema building at Dreamland (£4m) – business case summary will be submitted in May 2022.

Winter Garden future options appraisal (£300,000) – submitted.

The projects were identified in the Margate Town Investment Plan, which was developed through engagement with residents; community groups; key stakeholders and businesses.

Cllr Pugh, Cllr Ashbee and Brian Horton at a Town Deal exhibition event

Chair of the Margate Town Deal Board, Brian Horton said: “Today is the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work and collaboration between the individual project teams, the people of Margate, Thanet District Council and the Margate Town Deal Board.

“I would like to thank everyone for their contributions and am proud to say that each and every business case submitted will deliver something new for Margate and help it fulfil its potential.

“The projects celebrate both our unique coastline and heritage assets and will increase visitor numbers, staying time, spend and vibrancy. Getting the green light from the government for the Margate Creative Land Trust shows real confidence in our Town Investment Plan, which bodes well for future funding decisions.”

It is expected that the government  will take approximately two months to review the Business Case Summary Documents. If successful, each project will continue to develop through the relevant design, planning and procurement processes. Depending on the funding timeframe, Margate could start to see further investment after the summer season.

Deputy council leader Cllr Reece Pugh added: “There is so much to look forward to and be excited about in Margate at the moment. The business cases were all developed with the same objective in mind – to help the town flourish, both economically and socially, and to create lots of fantastic opportunities for the community to get involved with.”

Photo Frank Leppard

Sir Roger Gale, MP for North Thanet said:“This investment provides a real opportunity to make a lasting mark on the development of Margate. We have seen some real progress along the seafront in recent years, but the Town Deal money has the potential to help us lever much greater funding to make continued improvements to some of our heritage buildings, to the High Street and into the Old Town.

“On a personal level, I’ve been pleased to see the local community come together to help create a Town Investment Plan that addresses many areas across the town. This project has benefited significantly from the input of the people of Margate.”

Consultant to the project, Chris Paddock, Director at PRD Ltd, added: “Working with local people and the community has been central to our work on the Margate Town Deal.  What is particularly exciting about the business cases for Margate is that a number of them have been a collaboration with community organisations.

“This means a significant proportion of funding is going to be overseen by local groups, who will work with the council to deliver these exciting projects.  As a result, the impact will be about more than bricks and mortar, it will empower and enable local people to change their town for the benefit of their community.”

More information on the projects can be found on the Margate Town Deal website