Please note that this Project Call has now closed.
In September 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced that 101 towns in England will benefit from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund as part of its efforts to level up economic growth and productivity between regions. Margate has been invited to submit an evidence-based Investment Plan and to work with the Government towards agreeing a Town Deal.
The objective of the Town Deal programme is to drive sustainable economic regeneration of towns to deliver long term economic and productivity growth. It is expected that this growth will be delivered through:
- Urban regeneration, planning and land use ensuring towns are thriving places for people to live and work by;
- Increasing density in town centres;
- Strengthening local economic asses including local cultural assets;
- Site acquisition, preparation, remediation and/or development; and
- Making full use of planning tools to bring strategic direction and change.
- Skills and enterprise infrastructure
- Driving private sector investment and small business development; and
- Ensuring towns have the space to support skills and small business development.
- Developing local transport schemes that complement regional and national networks; and
- Supporting the delivery of improved digital connectivity
Thanet District Council is the accountable organisation for the Town Deal and the development of its Investment Plan. The Council has been responsible for setting up the Margate Town Deal Board following the Town Deal Prospectus, which was published on 1 November, 2019. Further Towns Fund guidance was published on the 15 June, 2020 – identifying the required timescales for delivering an Investment Plan that will form the basis of a ‘Deal’ with the government. The guidance also provides further detail on the project and proposals that will be acceptable, with an indication of the outcomes and outputs required.
The Town Deal Investment Plan is required to be a long-term document, providing the strategic case, with the evidence and analytical basis for the selection, as well as having the design of the projects proposed included It should set out a vision for the town with broad ownership and a strategy that can set the direction for the economic turnaround over a decade, including economic recovery from the current crisis. The Margate Town Deal Board is aiming to submit the Investment Plan by the end of October 2020 deadline.
The Margate Town Deal Board met for the first time on 6 March. At its Board meeting on 10 July, it had a detailed discussion about what might be in the vision, relating to those things that would make Margate economically stronger over this time period. It was identified that the vision should be Margate’s vision: bold and ambitious, creative, outcome focused and deliver for the town in the short, medium and long term. A number of key themes were identified and these are below:
- Making best use of physical and natural assets – Improve quality of life, economic activity, health and wellbeing
- Diversification and economic prosperity to support recovery – Support Margate’s economy (old and new) to diversify and drive economic prosperity: and
- Deliver health and wellbeing outcomes – Embed health and wellbeing across Town Deal projects
These were the proposed priority areas by the Margate Town Deal Board for the Investment Plan. As mentioned above, there are a number of strategic themes identified within the guidance documents from the government.
The table below includes the outcomes, by intervention theme, that towns should be targeting through their projects. These target outcomes should be used as a guide when towns are designing their investment plans. Examples of the types of outputs that might produce such outcomes – and therefore ones that towns should be considering – are also included in the table.
|Intervention||Theme Outputs||Target Outcomes|
|Local transport||Increase in the number of bus services; new or upgraded cycle and walking routes; new or upgraded road infrastructure; pedestrianised streets||
|Digital connectivity||Provision of full fibre infrastructure with local authority as anchor tenant||
|Urban regeneration, planning and land use||Remediation and/or development of previously abandoned or dilapidated sites||
|Arts, culture and heritage||New or upgraded museums, theatres, community spaces, etc.||
|Skills infrastructure||Increase in the capacity and accessibility to new or improved skills facilities||
|Enterprise infrastructure||Increase in the amount of high-quality and affordable commercial floorspace; increase in the number of shared workspaces or innovation facilities||
The full framework of projects can be found on Page 41 of the Further Guidance in Annex A. The guidance also highlights that:
- The funding that is available through the Towns Fund is 90% capital and, as a general rule, towns are asked to ensure that their funding bids concentrate on capital spend on tangible assets.
- Investment from this fund should support clean growth where possible and, as a minimum, must not conflict with the achievement of the UK’s legal commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
- In order to maximise the impact of the Towns Fund the plan/projects should consider how they align with other sources of funding, including public and private. This includes aligning with other government programmes or identifying sources of co-funding and match funding.
The Margate Town Deal Board would like to hear from interested stakeholders and members of the town’s community about project proposals that the Board could be considering when developing the Investment Plan. As outlined above there is set-criteria that is required for the projects that are put forward, and evidence will be required to prove the need and deliverability of the projects.