Margate Town Deal, Levelling Up scheme and Future High Street Fund to be managed as one £51m pot under new pilot scheme

Some of the Town Deal, Levelling Up and Hugh Street Fud projects

Funding for the Margate Town Deal, Levelling Up projects and the Future High Street Fund will be managed as one £51m pot under a new pilot scheme.

Thanet council is one of 10 authorities which has been invited to take part in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Simplification Pathfinder Pilot.

The aim of the pilot is to give chosen local authorities greater ability to make decisions locally about moving funding between projects in their portfolio, reduce red tape and increase flexibility.

Movement of funding

The changes will mean local authorities will only need to seek approval from DLUHC if they are making a ‘material change’ to their investment plan.  A  “material change” involves moving £5 million or more to a different intervention theme or between projects in the same theme.

Movement of funding below £5m will not be counted as a material change and can be reported to DLUHC in the 6-monthly monitoring returns:

There will also be the single funding allocation (£51m) instead of three individual funds which, subject to assurance, can be managed flexibly across a portfolio of projects.

Investment Plan

An investment plan has to be produced with a combined set of outcomes and outputs being tracked instead of using a project-by-project basis.

Once an investment plan has been agreed, and subject to local authorities having sufficiently met assurance criteria, an aggregate payment of any remaining funding for 2023-24 will be made to pilot local authorities in the third quarter of 2023-24.

Subsequent payments will be made in the first quarter of 2024-25 and 2025-26, subject to satisfactory performance.

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be issued to participating local authorities and this will supersede all current funding agreements for Town Deals, Future High Streets Fund and Levelling Up Fund.


Streamlined reporting will mean moving away from reporting across three different programmes, to submitting one 3-monthly report on spend and progress and one 6-monthly delivery report.

Chosen local authorities will have just one main contact in their DLUHC area team for discussions about the pilot.

What are the funds?

Thanet District Council has been allocated £51m from the government across the three programmes since 2019 –  Margate Town Deal £22.2m; Ramsgate Levelling Up £19.8m; Margate Levelling Up £6.3m and Future High Street Fund £2.7m.

The money is for long-term regeneration and growth projects in the district. Some of the projects will be delivered by Thanet District Council and others by local project partners. The council is the accountable body for all the programmes and responsible for funding and overall management.

The pilot will also include the creation of a new single Partnership Board, which will oversee all three of the schemes. This would replace the existing Margate Town Deal Board.

Rick Everitt at the Ramsgate Levelling Up session

Council Leader Cllr Rick Everitt said: “Bringing the administration of the three government funded schemes into one simplified approach is a logical step. Creating a more streamlined process will allow more time to focus on the delivery of these multi-million pound programmes.

“The Simplification Pathfinder Pilot does not mean that Thanet is starting again in terms of the projects that we’ll be working on. It is a change to the way in which the council and relevant governance arrangements will report back to the government, through a revised monitoring and evaluation framework and revised payment mechanisms.

“I am clear that under the new arrangements, while there will be one Partnership Board for both towns, we should not be transferring the funds awarded between Margate and Ramsgate.

“Councillors will have an opportunity to review and comment on the proposals as they make their way through the Overview and Scrutiny Panel and Cabinet meetings later this month.”

A report setting out the details will go to Thanet council’s next Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting taking place on Tuesday 19 September. It will then go to the Cabinet meeting on Thursday 21 September for consideration.

Margate Town Deal

The Winter Gardens Photo Frank Leppard

£500,000 allocation for The Oval Bandstand and Lawns (currently at stand-off over signing agreements)

£300,000  Margate Winter Gardens

£2m Theatre Royal

£750,000 Margate Skatepark

£4million Dreamland

£6 9m Margate Creative Land Trust

£1.1m Access Walpole

£900k for outreach/education programmes

£5.3m highway/public realm schemes

Levelling Up Fund

Margate Digital Image Lee Evans Partnership

£6.3million Margate Digital (timeline delayed)

£19.8m Ramsgate projects – Green Port’ with a Green Hub training centre for apprenticeships and training and improved port infrastructure including revamped ro-ro facilities.

Training hotel and restaurant at the Smack Boy’s building at Ramsgate harbour,

A brasserie and a fishing facility for the local fleet to store and sell catch from;

A new town square on the current pier yard car park,

A refurbished clock tower building

Two community sites in Newington and Ramsgate with training kitchens, community teaching.

Future High Street Fund (Ramsgate)

An artist’s impression of how the haberdashery building could be used

Provide workspace in the town centre for the creative industries – TDC purchase of Broad Street property

Highways improvement scheme to make it easier for pedestrians to walk to the town centre from the Harbour, by reducing the dominance of the road. This project is due to be completed by spring 2024.

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    • Dreamland is Margate’s biggest attraction and is far from complete. The cinemas, dance Hall, bars and restaurants are still to be restored and hopefully something will be done with the boarded up area that was Arlington Arcade and the surrounding shops.

      • Arlington arcade shops were NEVER fully occupied, even in the 60s and 70s. So they’re certainly not viable now, when 75% of the shops in the upper High Street are boarded up.

  1. Nothing for house repairs then ,Royal crescent in Ramsgate has had scaffolding holding up the balcony for nearly 7 yes .

    • That should be coming out of the housing revenue account, though quite how the council allowed a listed building in its social housing stock to get in such appalling condition is probably another long storey of its own. Alledgedly leaseholders have been bpught off via an arrangement where they’ll have their share of the costs as a charge on their property. So they can never sell and move without being left with very little.

  2. Some funding MUST be spent on public toilet facilities throughout Thanet. What is the point in trying to attract visitors when our toilet facilities are nothing less than shameful. I was recently in south Devon and what a difference in facilities. Even a day out in Whitstable recently proved how much better the toilets are there.

    And I concur with Mr X – £4 million to Dreamland should not be permitted. Or on the basis that they donate a percentage of their profits over say a 20 year period back to the fund (or set up another) to be used for other causes. And such a fund should not be controlled by Dreamland.

    Surely one way to try and “level-up” this area is to provide workshops for those currently claiming benefits to enable them to have better skills to manage their money and hopefully to get into work.

  3. Another way for TDC ,to waste £51m.millions pumped into Margate digital ,what the neck that is !!Dreamlike getting £4m ,what a farce.As Richard Littlejohn used to say ,you couldn’t make it up!!!!

    • Let’s be real , the old marina swimming pool was left to destroy itself when the council could of fixed it along with , motor museum ,lido,model Village,harbour museum, Ramsgate Newington swimming pool, winter Gardens etc etc .And when my Grandfater was brought back to Ramsgate from Dunkirk he was nursed back to health in the Regency building with 100s of others apparently.

  4. 4 million for Dreamland-which has for many years now been given vast(obscene) amounts of cash. 300 grand for the long neglected & crumbling Winter Gardens-just shows again it is all about who you know & how good you are at Politicking.

    Will Kemsley spend any of that 4 million on soundproofing, or hiring security firms when her patrons roll out drunk in the early hours causing trouble? Not likely. Where is it all going exactly?

  5. 300k the winter Gardens yet dreamland 4mill. They must be in DREAMLAND . So who sat around a table and divvyed up this pot of gold. Didn’t you say you needed 6 Mill for the winter Gardens well with 51mill to play with surly there’s enough to go round. But with councils you have to factor in the bureaucratic waste.

    • But it’s even worse than that as the Winter Gardens gets nothing at all spent on it to do it up because the £300,000 is only for a private company involved with suggestions on finding a new use for it.
      What a waste of funds, who has their mitts in the till ?

  6. All you have to do is look at who was chairing / attending these various boards and then see where the funding has subsequently been directed to.

    It stinks to high heaven.

  7. So it’s fair to say that most of the people in Thanet don’t agree with a privately run company that already makes profit getting 4 million of tax payers money.

    Do we all get free gigs and drinks at dreamland (I would mention then funfair but they have sold most of that off) because they are taking tax payers money and then charging us again! What a disgrace, TDC you need to listen here and not give that money to dreamland, they can stand on there own feet!

  8. No way should Dreamland get 4 million. This is absolutely out of the question. We the people of Thanet should be able to have a say on where the money is spent and not left to TDC. Roger gale please step in and stop this happening. Any other MP or councillor with a backbone should also stop this payment

  9. I just went to Margate for the first time in months. I needed the toilet, so went to the Turner – it was shut. I then resorted to using a nearby portaloo – which was like an open sewer, human waste on full display, no running water, and no hand gel. Absolutely disgusting! It’s the last time I’m going there.

    • Should have just used the side of the Turner building-would have been more an artwork than what is inside. Are the toilets in the centre & by Iceland closed again?

  10. Maybe there should be an online poll as to what the people want. After all it’s the people of thanet who put you were you are.

  11. How on earth is a patch of grass and a bandstand getting 500k when the WG is only getting 300k…scam going on somewhere…

    • I totally agree, why
      £500,000 to that group?
      The group GRASS CIC who were gifted the site by TDC in July 2021, had one of their directors on the committee of the MTDB as a serving member at that time.
      Personally, I think that was a ‘conflict of interest’ and they shoyld not have been recipients of any funding from the MTDB.

      As far as I have read, the actual bandstand and kiosk are only 17 years old.
      Admittedly, they needed painting,as TDC the owners,did not maintain them up to the asset transfer.
      I also think the GRASS group have already received £25,000 from the allocation.
      Clearly this money should have gone to the Winter Gardens as should the £750,000 allocated to the so called ‘Skatepark’

      • I totally agree with James on this. It seems these people scrambled to get on the board so they could allocate funding for their own projects. It is morally wrong if not legally.
        The Winter Gardens should be reallocated Dreamland and Grass’ funds and some to repair all the sea shelters and toilets that are derelict. What a site coming into Margate, a scene of despair and dereliction, but it is okay as Dreamland and Grass will save the day, not !!

    • They don’t need the Margate funds, they have faceless private offshore backers with ££ multi-Millions waiting, supposedly.

  12. Why to dreamland the place is a fail and the mess when thay finish on the streets and the fights I see back council back handers here

  13. The council getting bank handers from this Dreamland is a joke there is no rides there to call it Dreamland maybe failland

  14. It is law for a council to repair.

    I find it criminal to donate to an offshore leaks entity of dreamland

    Margate digital.. Scam

  15. I wonder if it will all be spent on administration and consultants like the wayfinding and high street fund in Ramsgate has been – not forgetting the one building being done up is in a carpark not on the high street(or any shopping st off it) oh and the consultants were so rubbish they missed the deadlines for match funding bids. Shameful mismanagement

  16. Basically – the Thanet regeneration team are not capable and have not delivered to deadlines and the government and the levelling up departments has identified that if they do not give them more time they will not complete the projects. All the projects would fail and still could fail. This is a massively embarrassing situation for Thanet district council what will Labour do? I doubt very much as they have all stopped talking and are not willing to talk about the problems with the town deals and high st funds.

  17. Why are the people who pay their rates in thanet not asked their opinion.who is deciding where the money goes and who voted for them.i certainly was not asked and broadstairs gets nothing even though beach toilets are disgusting.

  18. The £51m funding needs to be distributed fairly and the regeneration begin asap. As others have pointed out it seems odd that Dreamland receive such a huge chunk and why hasn’t GRASS walked away as they said they would? Their £500,000 funding should go to more worthwhile projects.

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