Call for projects
Margate was one of 101 places given the opportunity by the Government to bid for funding of up to £25 million as part of their £3.6 billion Towns Fund.
On Thursday 30 July, the Town Deal Board invited proposals for projects which could be included in the Town Investment Plan.
As stated in the Towns Fund: further guidance, funding can only be used for capital projects (e.g to build, improve, maintain or develop new or repurposed buildings, places or assets).
The Board created a ‘Call for Projects’ online form to allow residents, organisations and businesses to submit proposals or investment ideas that fit with one or more of the three themes of the Town Deal. It was made clear that proposals should drive long term economic and productivity growth through investment in:
- Urban regeneration, planning and land use
- Skills and enterprise infrastructure
A total of 86 project proposals were received (once duplications and mistakes were removed). The value of these submissions exceeded the £25 million potentially allocated to Margate.
The Town Investment Plan requires transformative proposals that will support economic regeneration, set against the government’s criteria. The proposals were shortlisted against this criteria in order to create a shorter list to be discussed further.
The Shortlisting Process
Successful projects had to fit the Government’s objectives and required outcomes as well as the emerging vision and priorities from the Board which is currently being shaped through community and stakeholder engagement.
The Director of Regeneration populated the template provided by the Towns Fund Delivery Partners with the information provided by the proposal sponsors. The Chair, Graham Razey and David Smith as Board members who were not actively involved in any of the submitted projects, reviewed this information through a sifting process and confirmed the status of each proposal against the criteria set out in the call for projects.
This initial filtering of projects was completed by Tuesday 15 September. The submissions included a wide range of projects and ideas, including proposals for public realm improvements; heritage; outdoor sports and recreation facilities; enterprise, cultural and community spaces; the Cliftonville coastline as well as proposals requiring funding for their business or business ideas and specific assets including the Lido and the Theatre Royal.
There is no process to appeal as this initial sift was done against strict government criteria.
View the Project Process Flowchart
A total of 86 project proposals were submitted following a call out from the Margate Town Deal Board. These projects have been through an initial filtering process as outlined below.
All the projects were assessed on a consistent basis:
The initial long list was filtered with pass or fail criteria as set out by central government under the requirements for the Towns Fund. In the case of the Towns Fund, the pass or fail criteria considers whether the project is:
- a capital investment;
- located within the town boundary;
- related to the Towns Fund investment themes
These projects were then assessed against the initial ‘local priorities’ as identified in the project call out.
The initial local priorities put together by the Margate Town Deal Board included:
- Job creation including higher skilled jobs, with better wages
- Creating opportunities for young people
- Supporting people to live healthy lives
- Tourism 365 – Giving people more reasons to visit and stay longer in Margate throughout the year
- The Public Realm
- A creative economy for Margate
- A sustainable future – environmental and economic.
The Government’s five cases of a standard business case (strategic, economic, financial, commercial and management) were also considered when reviewing the project proposals.
There were a number of similar projects that were proposed that did not have enough detail, or the ‘sponsor’ was unlikely to be the person/organisation delivering the proposal. This meant that they were not carried forward to the next phase, however, the essence of these projects will not be lost and where these proposals support the requirements of the Towns Fund they may be revisited as collaboration takes place to develop the Town Investment Plan and project ideas.
Of the projects submitted, 38 will be going through to the next stage of review.
Next steps – Stage 3
The 38 proposals will now require a more detailed assessment of the project on the basis of it being able to deliver against the government’s requirements for the Towns Fund, the evidence of need from social and economic data and the views gathered through the community engagement. This assessment will check that all investments shortlisted are able to form a coherent investment programme that can support the vision for the area. This process will start with project sponsors having the opportunity to meet with our Town Investment Plan consultancy team.
Alternative Project Funding Sources
With limited funding available and specific Town Fund criteria, many of the proposals received will not be able to be shortlisted. We realise that this will be disappointing so have put together a list alternative sources of funding which may be suitable.
The Town Fund also wants to see match funding for projects which they refer to in the latest guidance. Therefore projects which are shortlisted for further review might also find this page helpful.
National Lottery Funds
- Awards For All and other National Lottery funding programmes open for applications
- Reaching Communities
- Sports England
- Arts Council
- National Lottery Heritage Fund
Organisations that can help
Kent County Council (KCC) offers the facility to search for funding specific to your project. You can also sign up to the Inside Track newsletter for the latest local, regional and national funding opportunities.
Kent Community Foundation awards grants on behalf of other organisations to charities and good causes across Kent.
Funding For All offers free funding advice and support to Kent and Medway organisations.
The Kent and Medway Growth Hub provides support for new and existing businesses as well as information about funding schemes on offer.
We hope you find this information useful and the Margate Town Deal team wishes you every success in your funding search.