Public drop-in and display to share early proposals for £1.1m Access Walpole scheme

The aim is to reinstate the Walpole lift and other facilities (Photo TDC)

Proposals for a £1.1m scheme to reinstate the Grade II Listed Walpole Bay Lift and create a nearby cafe or kiosk will be displayed at a public drop-in next month.

The Access Walpole scheme is one of the projects under the £22.2m Margate Town Deal which was secured by Thanet council in March 2021.

The aim of Access Walpole is to make the clifftop space fully functional again.

The lift was originally installed by the Ministry of Health in the 1930s to encourage people to enjoy the benefits of living by the coast. This included swimming in the nearby tidal pool or walking along the shoreline – activities that improved people’s health and wellbeing. This project aims to make that happen again.

The council is inviting members of the public to learn about the project at the drop-in on Thursday 5 October between 2pm and 7pm, at the Walpole Bay Hotel, Fifth Avenue, Cliftonville.

People will be able to meet and engage with the council’s project team. There will be boards on display showing sketches of the proposed concepts for the new beach, and wellbeing facilities. Architects and designers will be on hand to answer questions and there will be an opportunity to give feedback about some of the information on display.

Cllr Ruth Duckworth, Cabinet member for Regeneration and Property, said: “The Margate Town Deal consists of many projects. Improving the access to Walpole Bay is a really important part of what we plan to make happen.

“Coming along to this drop in event will give people a chance to see potential solutions very early on in the project process. We want people to share their thoughts on where the new building could go and also what the building could best be used for.

“At this stage there won’t be final designs to choose from or details about the facilities but that will come later and there will be a chance to comment on those before they go to planning. In the meantime, I’d urge people to visit the displays now and be part of the journey so that we make the right decisions for Walpole Bay’s future, together.”

Walpole Bay Photo Swift Aerial Photography

Following the event, the information boards will remain on display at the Walpole Bay Hotel for two weeks. The exhibition will be open daily from Monday 9 October for people to drop in between 10am and 7pm. It will close at 7pm on Monday 23 October.

It will also be possible to submit feedback both online and via paper surveys. There will be further opportunities for comment ahead of any designs reaching the planning stage.

The Margate Town Deal projects have a delivery deadline of March 2026.

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  1. So they haven’t really anything to show? What is the point of this? Nobody wants the commercialisation of the Walpole bay pool and area.

    • Speak for yourself. I would definitely welcome the return of a cafe and other amenities at Walpole Bay. There used to be a sundeck with a cafe, ice cream kiosk and beach goods shop at Walpole Bay as well as a toilet block. On the clifftop was St George’s Lawn Cafe. All were destroyed in a storm on 12th January.

  2. Why wasn’t the money used for upgrading and restoring the Winter Gardens instead This was such a great theatre and event space which hundreds of people enjoyed…so sad to see it boarded up for so long.

      • Rabbie, not for doing it up and repairs. The money £300,000 is to a private company chosen by TDC to see what the Winter Gardens could be used for and if anyone would be interested in taking it on in it’s current condition, so literally a waste of funds.
        The funds available for Walpole Bay and surroundings is the only good use of the Margate Town Deal fund so far.
        Try getting the Dreamland funding redirected to the Winter Gardens for the repairs needed.

    • I guess that’s the significant point.
      “which hundreds of people enjoyed…”
      If it had been thousands, or tens of thousands, then the Winter Garden’s fate might have been quite different.

      • It WAS thousands. The shows (which more often than not sold out) were only part of it. The halls were also hired for presentations, charity events, parties, fetes, job fairs, and so much more. It was used pretty much every single day of the year, often multiple times and for multiple events in the two halls and various function and meeting rooms.

  3. The lift is a waste of money and will be another future overhead that swallows ever scarcer resources. People drive to the tidal pool. The slopes are already disabled buggy accesible.

    • Whoever Fred is please use another name, I am Fred and might disagree with you on some items and others may get confused.

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