16 June, 2023

Margate Town Deal update

Strong assurances are being given by Thanet District Council today (Friday 16 June) surrounding progress on the Margate Town Deal and the due diligence required for the delivery of this ambitious £22.2m programme.

This follows comments made in a statement published by GRASS Cliftonville CIC (GRASS) which the council is keen to clarify.

GRASS is one of two organisations who put forward proposals and were selected to directly deliver a project under the Margate Town Deal. The £500,000 project, which is part of the Coastal Wellbeing workstream, seeks to refurbish the Oval Bandstand and Lawns in Cliftonville, creating a thriving community asset.

As well as developing and delivering the project, GRASS will be responsible for administering the public funds associated with it.

The council is currently awaiting the return of a signed grant agreement from GRASS, which is needed in order to transfer the funding required to progress with delivery of the project.

This is a standard part of the process set out by the government to ensure that any organisation or third party, in receipt of public funds, has the relevant financial due diligence and governance structures in place.

Until this agreement has been signed it will not be possible to transfer any further public funds to the organisation, over and above the £25,000 of early capital funding already received. 

This is the process being followed with each of the projects that are being delivered by a third party within the Margate Town Deal and is in place to safeguard public money.

Bob Porter, Director of Place said: “A tremendous amount of work is going into the development of the Margate Town Deal and the ambitious suite of projects in place to enhance the community in Margate. This is a long-term programme for the improvement of the town, to be delivered between now and March 2026. 

“We have been in regular contact with GRASS and explained the processes that are required. We are as keen as they are to see this project through to fruition. When it comes to public spending, it’s critical that we have the necessary safeguards in place, to protect everyone involved. 

“GRASS remains a part of the wider Town Deal programme and I hope that we can work together positively to see this project through.”

The proposed investment into the Oval Bandstand and Lawns is part of a wider £3.55m investment in projects along the Cliftonville coastline, designed to improve the wellbeing of residents in that area (Intervention 2 – Coastal Wellbeing). This includes the delivery of a Skatepark, improvements to accessibility to Walpole Bay, by refurbishing the lift and the steps; and providing facilities into Walpole Bay itself.  

There are outline designs for the Skatepark site, and the council has engaged a design team to develop the proposals for new beach facilities at Walpole Bay. The council will shortly be engaging with the public and stakeholders around the early plans.  

Share this story