Blog: A Project Update

The Margate Town Deal People’s Panel has grown to 65 members following a recent call out for new members in an attempt to ensure it is representative of the town.

The call out was a success with a significant increase in young people on the Panel (under 30’s) as well as better representation from members of our community from ethnic minority groups.

The Town Investment Plan has secured up to £22.2m of funding as part of the Government’s Town Deal programme. The People’s Panel members will be working with the Margate Town Deal Board up to March 2022 to support the delivery of the Town Investment Plan and ensure they ‘Make it Margate’ as business cases are developed for the projects. This includes work related to the governance of the Board itself, and getting to know the projects and what they will achieve for the town.

The recent session with the Panel was part of a piece of work to review the existing governance arrangements of the Board as we move from the visioning to the delivery stage. The Panel looked at and discussed the different skills and experience required, and in particular considered the role of the new Chair. As part of this, we are now advertising for a new permanent Chair to lead the Board through this next phase of work.

We are now starting the exciting second phase of the Town Deal process, to develop full business cases for the various projects, and the Board will be bringing in expertise to assist in this phase. Once these are approved locally, and a summary is submitted to the Government and approved, then the Town Deal funding can be accessed to begin what is a five year delivery phase.

As part of this, the project team and Board will be looking to engage with the wider community as well as working with the People’s Panel, project delivery partners, stakeholders and Margate’s business community and the vision set out within the Town Investment Plan can start to come to fruition.

The Board is excited to be working with Work Wild Ltd to establish a new Creative Land Trust. This is a key part of the Scaling Margate’s Creative Production and Skills intervention set out in the Town Investment Plan. They have been commissioned through capacity funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Activity is already underway and The Land Trust will help scale the creative sector, securing long term affordable space and ensuring a vibrant future for one of the town’s most important industries. A land trust is a legal entity, independent of the Margate Town Deal Board, or Council, that takes ownership of properties to meet objectives such as providing security of tenure, affordable workspace provision and training for the creative sector.

Since the final project list was submitted to the Government on 8 June 2021, the project team has begun working with project sponsors and delivery partners on preliminary business case work and carrying out early due diligence. The Board will be utilising external expertise for technical aspects of the business cases where needed which is currently advertised on the Council’s procurement portal.

As you can see, it’s a busy and exciting time. Please visit the Margate Town Deal website to find out more and we will continue to keep you updated on all the ways you can get involved to help progress the Town Deal and drive forward Margate’s regeneration plans. Remember you can always contact the project team with questions and comments at margate-town-deal@thanet.gov.uk.

By Cllr Reece Pugh, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development

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