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

13 Comments

    • I agree 100% Peter.
      It is unbelievable that the Oval Bandstand is getting more than the Winter Gardens.
      On another thread Stephen Darrer who is the secretary of Grass and a serving member of the MTDB says they want the Oval Bandstand to operate 365 days a year.
      Is he in the real world!
      The Winter Gardens, yes, the Oval Bandstand no.
      It is all done and dusted. The decisions have already been made and I think TDC should be ashamed of their actions.

  1. A crying shame that the same energy and commitment wasn’t shown by Pugh and Ashbe to the Granville, the MotorHouse, the Clockhouse, the Harbour, etc in Ramsgate.

    What is this about?

  2. £4 Million to a private company and a miserly £300,000 to the publicly owned Winter Gardens! Surely it should be the other way around. It’s an absolute disgrace. How do these decision makers sleep at night?

    • And the fact Dreamland was put up for sale after securing the £4 Million of our money just beggars belief!

      Does anyone else think this is an exercise in siphoning off public money into private bank accounts leaving Margate no better off after this. The people deserve better.

  3. It is absolutely disgraceful that the Winter Gardens is allocated only £300,000 and the Oval Bandstand £500,000 for outdoor events.
    The group Grass who were handed the 4 acre site at no cost and now in line for £500,000 must think they have died and gone to heaven.
    I did not realise that the secretary of Grass was also on the Margate Town Deal Board.
    How can his group benefit from this funding
    Another ‘cock up’ by our wonderful council and also the other members on the board and elsewhere who voted for this.
    It makes you wonder what TDC really have planned for the Winter Gardens.
    Thanet is now without a proper theatre.
    We have lost the Granville and will be losing the Winter Gardens and the Theatre Royal.
    So the Oval Bandstand is going to be the saviour of the area.
    I am sure everybody is going to love sitting in a deckchair in the middle of winter listening to a band.
    What a totally incompetent council we have!

    • I think all members of the Board, both past and present, should be scrutinised very closely in terms of who has gained huge sums of money from this – whether they run amusement parks, local colleges or bandstands. It’s public money after all and multi million pound grants should be transparent and open with regular detailed progress reports available to the public to look at.

      With project overspends (which are likely for the big construction projects due to rising costs of materials/staff since the money was approved) who is liable for the additional money if the projects are match funded ? This is a key question I would expect the Cabinet to be asking.

  4. So Grass lacks the expertise to deliver the bandstand project without help from the Council and therefore without a host of consultants etc. and the resulting interminable ‘exchange of views’. In other words another incomprehensible tangle of parasites gobbling up our money. Surely it would be cheaper for the Council to do it themselves. Roger Gale’s feeble comment: ‘…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” is ridiculous in the context of so large a sum of money. I reckon most of us do not want our money to be spent ENABLING us to blah blah blah, we want it spent cost-effectively.

  5. I absolutely agree with you. I too would like the money to be spent cost effectively
    I also do not wish to be Enabled. I am sick of hearing that word.
    Roger Gale does not live in the town, he lives in the countryside, so has no real idea what is really going on.
    Words are cheap Sir Roger.
    How about asking the locals what they really think about the allocation of these grants?
    I am quite sure our local theatres would be high on the list of funding.
    Theatres that you can use because events are held inside. Certainly not on a few flowers, a paint job on the bandstand and events that can only be held in the summer months.

    • What I can’t understand is how two serving members on the MTDB (I
      think the member who represented Dreamland is now no longer on the board) can be awarded gramts for
      a) DREAMLAND
      b) THE OVAL BANDSTAND
      Should this be allowed?
      Surely this is a conflict of interest?

  6. I think at some point I’ll have to give up all this venting and actually do something. Perhaps taking up your suggestion James Gibbons – asking locals what they really think about the allocation of these grants. Starting point would be summarising the situation as objectively as possible and of course understanding it thoroughly … then what, going house to house? What CAN we do? Any other thoughts anyone? (Legal, peaceful etc.)

  7. Sadly, I think it is now too late. As somebody has said earlier it is all
    ‘done & dusted’
    Whatever we all feel about it will be of little consequence to the MTDB/TDC. Those from the council who voted with the MTDB should be held to account.
    Such vast sums to some with little to other worthy causes, our theatres.
    So typical of our council

  8. Totally disgusting after donating to grass CRA were told that if they turned up they’d be escorted of as trespassers.

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