Testing New Uses – New Beach Facilities for Walpole Bay

Coastal Wellbeing Overview:

As part of the Margate Town Deal Coastal Wellbeing intervention, the Testing New Uses project aims to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents. 

New Beach Facilities:

Sitting at the centre of the Testing New Uses project is a new Wellbeing Pavilion on the lower promenade at Walpole Bay. The pavilion will accommodate a cafe, a bookable wellbeing space, which the whole community will have access to. This will provide a hub to support enterprise, community, health and wellbeing, and education activity, as well as providing new beach facilities including toilets and showers for the ever growing number of all year round sea swimmers and visitors. 

This project provides an opportunity to experiment and test what can work well, which could be replicated and built upon across the town and district in the future. 

Testing New Uses Project Overview:

We want to ensure that the range of capital investments that are being delivered to improve accessibility and opportunities along Walpole Bay benefit the whole community. The testing new uses, participation and skills programme aims to support residents to be more engaged and have more say over health and economic activity, with a focus on testing uses around coastal wellbeing and also to support longer term employment opportunities. It provides an opportunity to experiment and test what can work well which could be replicated and built upon across the town and district in the future.

Following the success of a pilot free Coastal Wellbeing activities programme on or around Walpole Bay beach last September, we are pleased to be offering another series of activities from April 2024 to continue to test what works well for our communities. 

Feedback and learning from these pilot activities will help shape the wider Testing New Uses, Participation and Skills Programme.

The pilot Coastal Wellbeing activities are being offered as a six week course, and are for people who would not normally take part in classes or paid activities.  

We’d like people to help shape the programme, and are asking people to vote for what activities they would like to see included through the council’s public engagement platform, Your Voice Thanet. 

Vote online at https://yourvoice.thanet.gov.uk/en-GB/projects/coastal-wellbeing.

For further information, please contact our Coastal Wellbeing Coordinator natasha.brown@thanet.gov.uk


couple eating fish and chips sitting on the step revetment looking out to margate harbour

Project Outcomes:

  • Building new facilities/amenities to support the activities. This is likely to involve changing facilities, toilets and showers to serve the ever growing numbers of sea swimmers and water users at Walpole Bay.
  • Providing an indoor space to be used to test ideas for improving the health and wellbeing of residents in Cliftonville and Margate.
  • Contributing to the sustainability of Walpole Bay which is likely to create employment and/or business opportunities.

Next Steps:

The specifics of this project are being defined using stakeholder and community feedback, statistics and other evidence to help inform what this programme of activity will look like.

The programme will need to deliver against the outcomes set out in the Town Investment Plan and will be intrinsically linked with the Coastal Wellbeing capital projects.

Following the appointment of a Coastal Wellbeing Participation and Skills Coordinator, we are now meeting with community organisations, groups and service providers to start building the foundations for collaboration to improve Coastal Wellbeing in our Cliftonville and Margate communities. We are looking at ways to make the coastline more accessible to help our residents to enjoy what it has to offer in terms of health and wellbeing benefits. We are also undertaking benchmarking and researching case studies of similar locations to inform our plans for any new facilities, and beach management.

We are now developing a project delivery plan for the Coastal Wellbeing Participation and Skills Programme which aims to test new uses around health and wellbeing at Walpole Bay and surrounding area.  Learning from the Coastal Wellbeing Activity pilots will also help inform the programme.

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