Since bookings were paused at the Winter Gardens last Summer, Thanet council has completed structural survey work and searches and studies needed to help make decisions about the venue’s future.
Consultants Counterculture have also been appointed to help deliver a night time economy review and strategy for the district, and explore options for the future of the Winter Gardens.
As part of that review local businesses, community organisations and residents are being asked to share their views on Thanet’s night time economy.
A series of in person sessions for members of the public and local businesses are being held.
For members of the public:
Margate – Wednesday 26 April, 10am to 12pm, at Thanet Gateway Plus, Cecil Street, Margate
Wednesday 26 April, 5pm to 7pm at Selina, 21-27 Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville
Broadstairs – Wednesday 26 April 2pm to 4pm at Queens Road Baptist Church, Queens Road, Broadstairs
Ramsgate – Thursday 27 April 10am to 12pm at Discovery Planet, 47 High Street, Ramsgate
Margate – Wednesday 26 April 5pm to 7pm and Thursday 27 April 2pm-4pm at Selina, 21-27 Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville
Broadstairs – Thursday 27 April 2pm to 4pm at Royal Albion Hotel, 6-12 Albion Street Broadstairs
Ramsgate – Thursday 27 April 2pm to 4pm at Travellers in Italy, 52 Harbour Parade, Ramsgate
All options for either lease arrangements, operator agreement or sale for Margate Winter Gardens are being kept open.
At a Cabinet members meeting in March a proposal to take the first steps to appoint a specialist to launch a marketing campaign was agreed.
A report to councillors said an immediate cost of £2.5m is needed for structural , building and mechanical and electrical works with a further £3.5m estimated over the next 10 years and total costs estimated at £6.25m.
The detailed marketing pack will be aimed at securing an organisation to refurbish, improve, maintain and operate the venue for uses that could include a concert hall, theatre, event spaces or leisure and tourism uses.
The Grade II listed building hosted its last performance on August 7 last year during the Margate Soul Festival before the lease was returned to Thanet council and the doors were shut in readiness for an appraisal report on the venue and its future uses.
Some £300,000 has been allocated from the £22.2million Margate Town Deal fund for the appraisal work.
The council has so far spent or committed £97,635 of the £300,000 funding, completing survey work and estimates that a further £90,000 will be required for marketing activity, leaving £112,000 for further legal costs and any other requirements
Currently, the site is boarded up with security measures including screening and fencing in place on and around the building.