In September 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced that 100 towns in England will benefit from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund and Margate was one of them (with up to £25m of investment potentially available).
A letter was submitted by members of the local community, which the council has responded to.
Thank you for your letter on behalf of a number of civil society group representatives dated Monday 10 February.
We share your enthusiasm about the Towns Fund and agree that funding could deliver tangible growth benefits to Margate and improve prospects for local people. We have seen first hand the transformative impact that regeneration investment can bring. We welcome this commitment from the government to Margate to deliver long term economic growth.
We recognise that details of the Towns Fund process should be available to everyone who is interested in being a part of Margate’s future. We have published the information we have from the government on our website, including information on governance and details of the Board.
The government has set out very clear requirements and guidelines regarding the make-up of Town Deal Boards. We must include a representative from all tiers of local government; the MP; local business / investor community; the Local Enterprise Partnership; a representative from a prominent local civic and faith organisations and ‘anchor institutions’ that the government defines as having a significant role in the local economy.
Based on this criteria, the following Town Deal Board members have been appointed:
- Madeline Homer, Thanet District Council
- Cllr Ruth Duckworth, Thanet District Council
- Sam Causer, Studio Sam Causer
- Liz Shutler, Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital
- MP Sir Roger Gale
- Graham Razey OBE, East Kent College
- Adam Bryan, South East Local Enterprise Partnership
- Victoria Pomery, Turner Contemporary
- Eddie Kemsley, Dreamland
- Richard Ash, Margate Town Team
- Graham Ralph, Jobcentre Plus
- Representatives from Kent County Council
- Community representative to be recruited.
We are still looking for a representative from a local community forum, voluntary or community sector organisation. We are keen that the Board reflects the diversity of the town and would welcome any nominations that meet this brief.
As outlined in the prospectus, the government and Thanet District Council (as the Lead Council) expects all Board members to adhere to the Nolan Principles. This will be set out in Terms of Reference, with an agreed Code of Conduct on our website in the coming weeks. This is also where the most up to date information about future activity and engagement events will be published.
As you highlight, Thanet District Council has received some capacity funding from government to be used for:
- Convening a Town Deal Board
- Running business and wider community engagement events
- Developing Town Investment Plans
- Providing technical expertise for business case development
We are keen to maximise community involvement and create the most compelling Town Investment Fund possible. We look forward to working with yourselves on plans for long term economic growth. Margate has a strong heritage and sense of place which the Board can utilise to help attract business and private investment. Like you, we are keen to ensure that funding is spent in a way that will address growth constraints for the town, thus making a tangible difference to the communities it is intended to benefit.
Madeline Homer and Cllr Rick Everitt