Thanet council wants your views on isle’s night time economy and Margate Winter Gardens

Margate Winter Gardens Photo Frank Leppard

Thanet council  is asking residents to give their views on Thanet’s night time economy – eating and drinking, music, clubbing, culture and events.

The authority has appointed consultants Counterculture to put together a night time economy review and strategy for the district, and explore options for the future of the Winter Gardens.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “We are talking to members of the public, businesses and community organisations to hear their views on Thanet’s evening and night time economy. This includes how it impacts them, and what they feel about the challenges and opportunities, and how together we can build an ambitious, inclusive vision for the Winter Gardens.

“A series of in person engagement sessions were held across the district in the last week of April alongside online surveys for businesses and community organisations, which have now closed.

“We now have a survey available for members of the public to have their say.  We want to hear the views of as many people as possible until the survey closes at midnight on Sunday 21 May.”

Bookings were paused at the Winter Gardens last Summer, All options for either lease arrangements, operator agreement or sale for the venue are being kept open.

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 by Your Leisure 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.

Currently, the site is boarded up with security measures including screening and fencing in place on and around the building.

Find the survey here


  1. I just filled out the survey, I hope all submissions are considered in the overall final report.

  2. Does it though?…..does it really want to hear? Or is this purely a public relations exercise?……

  3. The wintergardens needs to reopen I used to work behind the bar and its sitting doing nothing so let’s getnit reopen

  4. Your Leisure leased thats a joke they are guilty of taking handout loans and worse still. Decided to not set up a repairs maintenance team with TDC so TDC council actually broke the law. I reported on this last year.
    Tdc why do you break the law time and time again.
    If you had put in place what is a legal requirement…

  5. Following the question on what means of transport do you use when going out in the evening, is this gem: why do you use that/those method/s? Er – to get there and back, because I don’t have the power of teleportation?

    • It was always impossible to even get a bus/train to Westgate/Birchington after shows, something I could never understand when they run so much later in the opposite direction.

    • It’s a reasonable question. Local councils need to know what percentage of residents uses public transport of some sort, for instance.

      Marva Rees

    • It is not on a bus route. The loop takes a different route in Ramsgate during the evenings so why not in Margate? It could come along Northdown Road and into Zion Place to pass the Winter Gardens, along the seafront and back up to Cecil Square to continue.
      The consultation money is wasted instead of using it on the repairs to get it back open again.

  6. What’s the point of this exercise ,TDC,will do what they want,and just say ,we followed ,a public consultation,and followed the results ,Will the people see the results from this consultation in full ,or an an abridged version which TDC,wants us to see, I bet the Winter Gardens and Theatre Royal are not open within 5 years,I really do hope they open again,but a with TDC you never know

  7. Develop a tourist village at Ramsgate harbour, with nightime entertainment. No point in hoping for a ferry service

  8. If there is a 22.2 million Margate deal fund, why not use 6 million of it to repair The Winter Gardens and then its all done, then the takings for using it for concerts, bongo bingo, comedians etc can go to its up keep.

    • Because grants are ringfenced for what they were applied for, they are just to spend how they want

  9. There is no seating at Dreamland and since the winter gardens closed the older and disabled have lost out on acts coming to Margate

  10. Dont mind people having a night scene but as long as the anti social behaviour is kept under control.Litter and graffiti is cleared up then fine but are the council going to do that.The area looks so dirty I dont want anymore mess.

  11. How many Thousands of pounds have been payed out to Three Managering Directors of Your leisure and Thanet Leisure force with there severance pay which should have been put into the winter Gardens. The Management Grant from TDC was for the upkeep one assumes not for Pension payouts . Also what happens to the Beach Hut income every year which is payed to Your leisure .? Many Hundreds of Thousands Does it assist Your Leisure or the
    Beach Hut Users … or Dept Charges or Pension liability or … covers loans on sports centers .so the Underighters TDC are not called in .

    The Poor Winter Gardens has suffered.
    Does the Grant From Thanet go to assist Grants from Dover District Council to help the Residents at Dover
    Does the Beach Hut income from Thanet all get spent in Thanet .?

Comments are closed.