The Margate School hits fundraising target to save it from imminent closure

The Margate School

A fundraising target of £50,000 to save The Margate School from immediate closure has been raised in just three weeks.

The Margate School (TMS), an independent, postgraduate, liberal arts school, and a not-for-profit organisation with an asset lock in place, faced threat of imminent closure after several recent funding bids failed to materialise.

The arts school launched a fundraiser in  bid to secure its short-term future and a swell of public support resulted in £41,106 by direct donations and an additional £12,500 sent by cheque from a long term supporter of Margate and its environs.

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

A message with the cheque reads: “I am happy to support The Margate School which I consider to be a wonderful facility to encourage young budding artists to explore the extent of their talents, and encourage further artists to come to the Margate area, which has such a long history of artistic creation.

“Margate has so much character and the town centre art school can only be encouraging for artists endeavours, which is ultimately beneficial for the whole community.”

The Margate School at the Woolworths building

Some 400 messages of support were sent to TMS and the community has pulled together by creating artworks for Save The Margate School posters and social media posts, public projection on venues around Margate and donations to online auctions which raised £1,329.50.

A TMS Benefit No Surrender gig featuring live music, comedy and art will also be held on March 4-5, with acts to be announced and ticket sales launched at the beginning of February.

The £50,000 raised so far means TMS can continue current teaching provision and implement plans to secure the future in the long term. It ensures that all the current students can complete their courses this academic year and the studios, exhibition space and facilities will remain open to the community.

Uwe Derksen (speaking) of The Margate School Photo Maria Gilbert

Uwe Derksen, founder and director of The Margate School, said: “This is more than an amazing achievement, given that we are already stretched running a complex organisation, the stress that everybody has been under because of the crisis and the very limited time we have had to turn this around.

“We, the team, are all on a very low, flat rate of pay and everyone gives well beyond their call of duty, the rest of our community then came out fighting followed by the wider community. “From the success of the fundraising and very importantly from the many many supportive comments, we come out of this crisis much more confident, knowing that we have an important role to play in the arts, in education and in the regeneration of Margate. A big thank you for all the support.”

Photo Isabelle de Ridder

The aim is to continue the fundraising to build a bursary fund to support students, studio holders, fellows and other community members in accessing technical training and facilities.

TMS also has to secures its space in the former Woolworths building in Margate High Street which is currently on the market for £1.85m, and is in negotiations with the owner and Margate Creative Land Trust and a private investor.

The TMS website support page is here

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’

Former Woolworths in Margate on sale for £1.85million

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  1. Let’s hope when the building is sold ,they are closed down ,don’t bank on it, though ,complete waste of money

  2. They are going to carry on fund raising. Fair do’s

    I guess this gives them time to set up a substantial business plan and use the fund raising for extras.

    Hopefully this doesnt mean more of our taxes being given to them

  3. If its a left wing political cause masquerading as “art” and linked to LGBTQABCDEF+- or green issues, it’ll get funding. If not, it’ll get nada.

      • I know you’re an author of books about the history of pop music, and maybe other things, but let’s take music. If you set up two crowdfunding requests, one scrounging (sorry, asking) for money upfront for a book about pop music in general, and another asking for money upfront to compile a book about pop music which ticks a box of two, I wonder which crowdfunder would have the most success?

      • The cash was raised by crowdfunding.
        It costs nothing to set one of these things up.
        Over to you, Rob and Peter.

        • So therefore it is not a successful and self funding business and can’t support itself. Once the donations stop, there is no business. That is not business that is begging / charity.

          Fed up of these tw*ts expecting the pubic to fund there vanity projects. Stand on your own feet or fail, end of!

    • Now thats not true is it?

      All sorts of things get funding and all sorts of things don’t.

      The political leanings of those involved isnt taken into consideration one would imagine.

      Do you have a shread of evidence thats not the case?

      • Why do lefties always righteously demand evidence for everything? I have eyes as evidence. Projects which are centrally funded, grant funded or crowdfunded are usually (not always but usually) unviable in a commercial sense. The BBC for example – if you don’t pay their tax you go to jail. If the BBC is so wonderful and enriching as the box tickers claim, make it wholly commercial, let subscribers pay for it and then we’ll see if it’s viable. Arty places which receive funding are not viable businesses which would ever be able to stand on their own two feet in the real world like virtually every other business has to do. With all businesses out there, if you don’t sell or do what people want, you go bust!! So whether the shop owner likes all the things he or she sells is irrelevant; what sells is key, not vanity projects. Funded arty places and doss houses are vanity projects. They do not care whether anybody actually buys anything they create or show, or even if anyone likes what they have to offer because, like the BBC their finances are secured in advance. They don’t really have to bother opening every day!!! And as they don’t have to ensure they deliver what a widespread audience may want, they can focus on vanity projects or things which they feel clever undertaking – things that have a political statement usually such as Tory bashing, Brexit bashing, Green agendas, LGBTQ slants, Stop Oil, Saint Greta, left ideologies, praise unions. Anything with a socialist agenda and political in nature. Which is fine. But it’s not commercial!

        Like the BBC, if what they create is any good, but their money where their mouths are and go commercial. Then we will see how beneficial and liked these ventures really are. They are fake, they’re not real. Small art galleries aren’t “edgy” because they want to appeal to as big a market as possible, whereas businesses masquerading as “charities” don’t care because their funding and revenue channels have been secured for a number of years from the outset and so lack any commercial drive, ambition or risk-taking, other than being overtly political.

  4. scandalous , people must have money to throw away – when will this nonsense end , it puts me off living in this area , this rubbish is taking our lives over

    • It certainly has changed alot since my childhood hood when seeing a flash car was a rarity. Nowadays in thanet Porsches and jags are as common as fords. It’s not uncommon now to see Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, maclaren.

      There is lots of money in thanet but not many people have the money !

        • That’s the great thing about capitalism. Anyone can become rich through hard work, wise decisions and (perhaps) a little luck. I’ll never be rich… but I’m not a bitter inverted-snob either, and don’t begrudge others who’ve done well for themselves.

  5. Hello Kathy can you explain how this organisation is a not for profit? It is registered with companies house as a limited company ? And is not a registered charity or CIC ? I’m confused

  6. The art philistines are out in force on this thread.

    Rabbiting on about taxpayers money and other unconnected things to the issue of the article.

    A town without art has no soul and will be.peopled by slack-jawed yokels pointing at rocks.

  7. The future is likely spelt out in the last sentence, something gets cobbled together between buildings owners, the margate creative land trust, tms and the investor. The trust can use some of the 6.9 million it received from the tax payer as part of the Margate Town Deal, TMS gets a long lease along the lines of the M&S hub place and not be expected to pay its way for a decade.

  8. Was surprised(not really) that millionaire Wayne Hemingway has been holding up signs saying save the school, but didn’t just fork over the 50k.

  9. Someone on TV described Margate perfectly. The Turner Centre, High Street and Seafront thrive but behind this is the same deprivation that has always been here. No money to be had for anything but art.

      • Yep, sure as hell isn’t the same high street I see. The only place that thrives is the old town & to some degree the seafront-only by virtue of debt ridden Dreamland putting on concerts with big names.

  10. Quote “Margate has so much character and the town centre art school can only be encouraging for artists endeavours, which is ultimately beneficial for the whole community.”

    How does another arty thing benefit the whole community ? All I see about the art community is a bunch of scroungers. It’s all about using our taxes thought Grant’s and loads.

    Turner Centre cant stand on it’s own two feet and needs millions of out taxes. This art school cant stand on it’s own two feet because funding was given ! But now uses ‘go fund me’ to fund the school.

    I dont see a thriving high street, we have afew arty shops with a hundred yards of the TC not much improvement for the multi millions of taxes given to it.

    I am not against art but I am against the free ride it gets from our taxes. Why cant art be like most other businesses ? supply want the public wants and the public will happily pay for it. Sport, cinema, gigs all charge an entrance fee, even dreamland charge lol

    Be brave you art community and put your money were you mouth is and back yourself and stop scrounging.

    • No funding for art via taxes? Are you instead in favour of our taxes being misappropriated by the bent politicians who litter the landscape of the country.

      • No of course not.

        But why can art be run as a business ?

        Kids that go to swimming clubs, football, rugby, hockey clubs etc all are self funding and very important to the children’s health and well being. The parents fund these though paying subs why cant the Turner Centre charge a minimum of 10 quid ?

        I dont get much change from a 100quid if I go to football or gigs so the TC charging a tenner is great value. I guess both RFC and MFC charge a tenner for 90 minutes of football. Why are the art community so scared of paying their own way.

        I have nothing against the little art shops I like to browse and buy the odd thing. These shop owners believe in art and are running a business which is fantastic. It’s the arty scroungers that I dont like the ones doing ‘art’ that a 3 year can do better !

        We are told how successful the TC is. Yet even being so successful it wont charge an entrance fee. What are the art community afraid of ? That these viewing figures will drop if charged ? I dont see why if people love going to the TC a tenner a head is peanuts.

  11. Plus

    The arty community that want handouts have an unfair advantage against the private art/galleries. That have to sell their goods to pay bills.

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