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        28 August, 2020

        Chance to have your say and shape Margate’s future

        Local residents and businesses are being given the chance to have a say on what will help Margate grow and potentially access millions of pounds of investment.

        Background

        Margate was one of 101 places given the opportunity last year by the Government to bid for funding of up to £25 million as part of its £3.6 billion Towns Fund. The Fund aims to support urban regeneration, skills development and improved connectivity by giving each place its own Town Deal.

        The money is not guaranteed and the first stage of the Town Deal is to have a Town Investment Plan ready by the end of October. This Plan will set out a clear vision and priorities for Margate’s future. It will also summarise the investments already known to be taking place in the town as well as proposing new projects which have been submitted by the community, that could be funded by the Town Deal.

        Have your say 

        Residents and businesses are now being asked to have their say on the vision and the priorities that will be included in the Town Investment Plan. 

        Public engagement on how best to improve skills and transport links, create new jobs and regenerate Margate will be held between 7 September and 20 September 2020. 

        COVID-19 has impacted on how we can engage with local people, but the Board has recruited community engagement specialists, Pleydell Smithyman Limited,  to ensure there are a range of ways that people can get involved.  These include:

        Please be aware that this will be a socially distanced event so you may need to queue. Please wear protective masks and bring hand sanitiser. 

        • Taking part in a Digital coffee group. If you’d like to join the conversation, please click here to take part in one of four online sessions about the future of the town and local people’s priorities for change.

        Representatives from Pleydell Smithyman will be at all of these events to capture people’s views and to talk to the community about the future of the town.

        To complement the work with the community, there will be a programme of stakeholder engagement with community groups, local businesses and the third sector taking place during September. This will include socially distanced workshop sessions, digital engagement and online surgery sessions.  

        Margate Town Deal People’s Panel 

        This initial phase of engagement is to support the Town Investment Plan, but the wider Town Deal will continue for up to five years. The Board is committed to ongoing and collaborative engagement with the community throughout the lifetime of the Deal.

        One of the ways it hopes to do this is by establishing a People’s Panel. This group, which it hopes to have in place by the end of September, will be representative of the community and will come together on a regular basis to deliberate issues affecting Margate, make recommendations and support the Town Board. To apply, you must be over 18 and live in Margate. 

        If you would like to become a member of the People’s Panel, please complete this Application Form by 20 September. Within the demographic criteria, panelists will be selected at random on Friday 25 September and the first digital meeting will take place on Monday 5 October.

        Jesse Tomlinson, one of two Community Representatives on the Board said:

        “We’ve been busy planning next month’s community engagement as it’s vital to the success of the Town Investment Plan. The Board needs to be able to show that the voice of the community has shaped the strategy for Margate’s future, alongside the evidence base.

        “As someone who has lived in Margate all my life, I urge you to share your ideas on economic regeneration, job creation and the type of town you would like it to be in 5, 10, 20 years.  Even if you don’t normally take part in consultations like this, your views really do matter and we have tried to make it as easy as possible for people with a range of perspectives from every part of the community to get involved.”

        Cllr Ruth Duckworth, Cabinet member for Estates and Economic Development, added:

        “This is an exciting time for Margate, with huge opportunities presented through the Towns Fund. The funding is not guaranteed so we need to prepare the best possible Investment Plan. The more people get involved, the more this will respond to the genuine needs of the community and deliver change. 

        “This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure funding that could see some significant projects realised. Please take the time to get involved and, on behalf of the Board, I would like to say how much we are looking forward to working with the people and businesses of Margate.”

        The Town Deal Board, made up of representatives from key public and private sector organisations, was formed in March to steer the vision and objectives for the Town Deal.

        Additional information about the public engagement and the Town Deal People’s Panel is available to view at thanet.gov.uk/margate-town-deal. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please email Sarah at research@pleydellsmithyman.co.uk.

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