Former Woolworths in Margate on sale for £1.85million

The Woolworths building

The former Woolworths building in Margate High Street is on the market for £1.85 million.

The property, which is currently used by The Margate School, is being marketed by Terence Painter Properties.

The Margate School, which needs to hit a £50,000 fundraising target by tomorrow or face closure, holds a lease for the site until June this year.

The property listing suggests a potential for between 9 and 14 flats across three floors with commercial space remaining at ground floor level.

A feasibility study suggests an additional floor could be constructed at roof level to accommodate a penthouse apartment.

Find the listing here

Renovating the Woolworths store in 2019

Woolworths closed in 2008 following the collapse of the company. The Margate store was purpose built at the corner of New Street for Woolworths in 1925 and traded its eclectic blend of pick ‘ n’ mix, records and then CDs and assorted items until the collapse.

In 2017 the Margate property was bought for £1.98 million by Brede Estates Limited.

Brede Estates directors were former Sands Hotel owner Nick Conington and John Adams, who – along with Mr Conington –  was also a director of Nayland Rock Hotel Margate Ltd.

Sands Hotel shut last year and is currently being renovated by new owners GuestHouse.

In 2019 The Margate School, who secured £499,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund in September 2018, moved in after renovating several floors of the former shop.

The Margate School community with Uwe Derksen (front) Photo David Babaian

Earlier this month The Margate School revealed it is under threat of closure after recent funding bids failed to come to fruition.

The independent art school is one of Margate’s largest creative communities with nine staff, 25 students, 17 tutors, 12 fellows, 42 studio holders, and a number of volunteers who are in danger of being displaced by the end of January.

Courses were suspended with immediate effect and if TMS cannot raise the necessary funds this month, then it will not be able to restart the courses and will begin the process of winding down all provisions over the coming months.

The Crowdfunder page can be found at

Margate Digital Image Lee Evans Partnership

The Margate School also says it has been forced to halt its involvement in a multi-million pound project with EKC Group and Thanet council over demands for rent and capital funding.

TMS partnered with the college group and council in a successful £6.3million bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund to create a digital and education campus with studios, gallery, ‘Fablab’ café and workshops at the former M&S building in Margate.

However, TMS has now withdrawn after being told to pay £30,000pa rent and provide a significant capital sum.

Former Margate Woolworths store bought for £1.98million by Sands Hotel bosses

Appeal for community support as The Margate School faces threat of closure

The Margate School halts role in Margate Digital campus project due to unexpected rent and funding ‘demand’


  1. On a related note.. I see that THE SANDS HOTEL MARGATE LTD is being liquidated.

    £1.1m of inter-company loans, amongst other creditors.

    • Steve

      What’s a picture of the schools art room git to do with anything. Or am I missing something and its actually art ?

      • Not sure if it some pictures of their kitchen with some doodles on the wall, or if the shelves of cutlery etc are also supposed to be art. Good to see what all the funding has been spent on though.

    • Margate’s insistence that they are all artists will be it’s downfall. 75% of the local art is Awful Art R Us.

  2. I’ve had a peek and see lots of comments on the crowdfunder page about how this will be a huge loss to the community?! Is that the small community which it is serves then? I am a local, I’ve found the window displays either lacking or bizarre and the place never welcoming for me on my own, or us as a family and never to do any art or art courses?! Who has been using this school? And has £500k really been invested in something used by just a few people? Presumably the users actually pay to use the building and do the courses so where does the funding go? I’m deeply confused! I’m sure I once saw a purple penis made of newspaper? Did I?

    Always sad to see another closure but something that will generate footfall is surely needed? An actual art school would be great! I’m often looking for something to do with my child at the weekend. And have some evenings free… but I won’t be bringing outside money into the area which is what we need. So.. flats – yawn! Profits for the rich for more Airbnb or seasonal property, although too many builds and prices will start crashing anyway. Something that gets out of area people into the area to sell all these wonderful things and services that exist is what the High Street needs please. People other than the day trippers buying tat at the poundshop in their swimwear and then leaving it all behind would be a preference). Wouldn’t that make sense?

    • The window displays always remind me of the corridors in Primary Schools, where each class have a joint art project.

    • Terrible, self indulgent rubbish masquerading at art has fast become a Margate thing. It’s even made it’s way into the Turner. How could they justify all this money on their ugly little vanity projects instead of something that would help the actual community, rather than the delusional “artists” community.

  3. Does anyone know what the cost of the lease was to the arts school and who previously funded this ?
    If nobody has this info to hand could Kathy Bailles find this out .

    • One can only assume that a couple of dozen artists have had a jolly good time over the past four years, burning their way through the half a million quid they were given in the first place.

      Now the funding has dried up so yet another, clearly unsustainable, art project has crashed and burned. It is clearly not even self-financing.

      Time to start waking up to reality.

      • That’d be pretty much my take on it. Business built on handouts fails to make a go of it and unable to persuade others to give it more to continue. Operating for 4 years but in a previous article did it not state it had only 25 students ( admittedly it had the lockdowns/ restrictions to contend with, but did it receive funds from covid the covid schemes).
        If the building sells they’ll need new premises if it doesn’t no doubt they’ll find a way of continuing. Either way the story hardly bodes well for the expensive white elephant proposed at the old M&S building. ( it should be borne in mind that the canterbury university campus in broadstairs was hardly a resounding success)

  4. Perhaps a better use of the space would be to help others in these very difficult times, warm hub for children and their families, a place where children can play a place where children and families can feel safe and have hot food but definitely not another arty place and definitely not about lining the pockets of others this building needs to do good for the local community not DFL’s.

  5. Shakes fist…. Ugh those pesky DFLers….. I hope someone shoe horns them into this comment section… they are to blame for everything, like the “boat people”

    Everyone in Margate are down trodden scum bags…. Unlike the great folk of Birchington…. I know I related again…. But I hope a little under the bridge trolls mentions that….. and ugh Co-op?!? So common.

    As for “art” do me a favour…… it’s not art…. It should be full of books about dodgy 70s music programmes…..

    Again none of this is relevant to this icon building being for sale.

    Which is what this article is about….

    Seems expensive…. Hard to believe it will be snapped up quickly. I’m not sure what it could be used for with turning a profit in mind especially when you consider recent news about surrounding businesses.

  6. If not a posh supermarket like Waitrose, an upmarket cycle shop (Ribble, Evans etc) would be a welcome addition to Porte de la mer.

  7. My first job was in woolies,sweeping floors and breaking up boxes. the staff were always friendly memories of 1961!! just the site for Waitrose I use the Ramsgate one and they are always busy.

  8. From the listing ‘the centre of the lower High Street, Margate close to the Piazza’


  9. The usual gibbering artphobes led by the vanity published author, waxing lyrically a ount nothing.
    In the words of a Margate artist: “The Thanet anti-art rabble wouldn’t know art if it bit them on the arts”

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