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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