Invite to help shape plans for £500,000 Town Deal revamp of The Oval Bandstand and Lawns

Simon Bell and Stephen Darrer with plans for The Oval Bandstand

GRASS Cliftonville CIC has received £25,000 of funding from the Margate Town Deal to begin its development work at The Oval Bandstand & Lawns.

The group, which is earmarked to receive a total of £500,000 from the £22million fund, plans to remove the old toilet block at the site and replace it with a pavilion with café, community room/s and public toilets.

Displaying the plans at Turner Contemporary earlier this year Simon Bell and Stephen Darrer, of Grass (Gordon Road Area Street Scheme) , said the proposal is to create a facility for 365 days of the year.

Grass want to also include training and education in their plans and is talking to mental health charities about involvement to build on community wellbeing uses.

The aim is to reconfigure the bandstand area so it is a 360 space – a “theatre in the round.” There will also be wildflower meadows, lawns, a mini wetland, a mini-forest, and paths lined with wildlife-friendly plants to create a “coastal eco-park” alongside artworks, social and activity spaces.

Grass took on the lease for the site last year under an asset transfer from Thanet council and have been working on a number of improvements.

The CIC is now asking people to help develop the plans by filling in a survey

A statement says: “The Oval Pavilion will be for the benefit of the whole community and the guiding principle is to create a modern, eco-friendly, sustainable, all-year-round facility that is an inclusive and safe environment for all to enjoy, as well as offer training and long-term employment opportunities.

“The purpose of the survey is to help us further identify the needs of our community and ensure they feed into the development of the new facility. We are about to start the design process so we are seeking the views of residents in relation to key issues, concerns, and priorities, as this will help shape the brief and set a firm direction for the project architect.”

The Oval Bandstand

All surveys which are completed and submitted by May 31 will be entered into a prize-draw to win VIP tickets to a Cliftonville Outdoor Cinema screening this summer.

Margate was one of 101 places given the opportunity 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. A bid amount of £22.2milion was granted.

Find the survey at