Blog: Turning Margate Town Deal plans into reality

By now, most of you will have heard that the Government has offered Margate a Town Deal with funding up to £22.2 million. This funding is subject to successfully completing Phase 2 of the Towns Fund process, which is developing projects and business cases.

Early capital funding

The Government’s Towns Fund has released a 5% capital funding upfront payment to Margate following the confirmation stage.

Thanet District Council has therefore received a payment of £1.1 million. This is in the form of capital funding and is being used to enable early-stage project development, bringing in specialist expertise for work such as surveying, planning and detailed costing. A financial breakdown will be published once the allocations are made.

Business case development

This second phase requires the development of what’s known as ‘Green Book’ compliant business cases to demonstrate the feasibility, viability and value for money of the projects which the Town Deal Board put forward for funding. The Green Book is HM Treasury’s best practice guidance for the appraisal and evaluation of publicly funded projects and programmes.

The projects will be evaluated according to the government-approved “Five Case” model which tests each project’s potential under five headings: strategic, economic, financial, commercial and management. Information from these business cases will form part of the Summary Document that is required to be submitted by the Accountable Body, which will need the approval of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), previously known as MHCLG.

External consultants appointed

Thanet District Council has appointed external consultants, PRD Ltd, to assist in the development of these business cases. PRD has already worked with the Board on the Town Investment Plan so they are well versed in the process.

You can help shape the process

The Town Deal process offers everyone who lives and works in Margate and the surrounding areas the opportunity to shape the proposals we will be submitting to Government. A key aim of our Town Investment Plan is to ensure that all residents can benefit from our investment plan and there will be opportunities for the community to engage in the second phase alongside the project business cases being developed.

Project partners will be presenting their individual projects to the Margate Town Deal Board and to meetings of the People’s Panel.

We are currently asking businesses across Margate to complete a quick survey to find out how, where, and when they would like to get involved and support the delivery of the Deal. If you are a business, please take five minutes to share your views by Monday, 11 October 2021.

Keeping you informed

The Margate Town Deal website is updated regularly and it includes a section on FAQs which is updated regularly.

Membership of the Town Deal Board

The Town Deal Board’s membership is drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors in line with government requirements.

During the first stage of the Towns Deal process, our primary duty was to agree a vision for Margate and to develop a well-evidenced Town Investment Plan, focusing on its assets, opportunities and challenges.

Having secured the provisional allocation of funding from Government, the Board’s purpose is to provide the strategic oversight necessary to ensure that the projects deliver the vision and priorities set out in our Town Investment Plan.

I am currently leading the Board on an interim basis while we look for a new Chair from outside the public sector who has proven strategic board experience.

If you know someone who is passionate about delivering the investment plan for Margate and who has outstanding leadership skills and an excellent track record of engaging with different stakeholders, investors and the private sector to leverage extra funding, we want to hear from you. Please get in touch with the project team by emailing margate-town-deal@thanet.gov.uk.

David Smith CBE, Interim Chair of the Margate Town Deal Board
5 October 2021

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