Last month local residents, community groups and businesses were given the chance to have their say on what will help Margate grow and potentially access up to £25m worth of investment as part of the governments £3.6bn Towns Fund initiative.
Your feedback matters
September 2020 was devoted to listening to people living, working and visiting Margate about their vision and priorities for the town. The feedback received has been hugely valuable and will help shape the Town Investment Plan that will be submitted to the Government Towns Fund in December 2020.
Thank you to everyone who completed a questionnaire, attended a drop-in event, took part in a digital coffee morning, or applied to be part of the People’s Panel. There were:
- 682 surveys completed;
- Over 30,000 people reached on social media;
- Over 2,000 website views;
- 233 people who attended an event (see display boards here);
- 207 People’s Panel applications.
Below is a summary of the key recurring themes:
- A thriving and diverse local economy which works all year round, for everyone;
- A desire to see job creation, with a particular focus on tackling youth unemployment;
- We need to reassure the community that regeneration is not simply gentrification as it is clear that some residents do not feel that they have directly benefited from recent investment in the town;
- Creating opportunities for young people and clear pathways for them to develop skills and find a career is seen as vital for the future of the town;
- Those within the creative industries and those who enjoy / benefit from them consider it to be a sector with potential for growth, job creation and development of skills;
- The look and feel of the town connects directly to how people feel about the space where they live, work, study and visit;
- Respondents would like to see the Town Deal bring the community together.
Town Investment Plan
The Margate Town Deal Board has appointed PRD, an independent regeneration consultancy who will work in tandem with architecture and urbanism practice We Made That, to prepare the Town Investment Plan. They will work collaboratively with the Council and the Board and use all the feedback from the community and stakeholder engagement to produce a high quality and compelling case for investment.
Cllr Ruth Duckworth, Cabinet Member for Corporate Governance & Coastal Development at Thanet District Council said:
“The prospect of £25 million Government investment is a huge opportunity to support further investment and job prospects in Margate. We are committed to producing an ambitious Town Investment Plan that explains how funding of up to £25 million would support the delivery of a string of transformative projects which would bring long lasting benefits to the whole of Margate.
“We want to do justice to the number of projects submitted and use the feedback received from our residents and the wider community to help shape the thrust of our Bid. We have therefore decided to submit the Plan in December to ensure it represents the ambition, knowledge and expertise of everyone who has taken the time to get involved in our engagement process so far.”
Margate Town Deal People’s Panel
Following a callout to the public, the Margate Town Deal People’s Panel has now been formed and will meet (virtually) for the first time on Monday 5 October. The aim of the Panel is to give members of the public a voice in the development of the Town Deal. Their role will be to help the Board understand public opinions and to put forward ideas for it to consider.
The Panel is made up of 50 members selected at random to broadly represent the wider population. More information can be found at thanet.gov.uk/mtd-haveyoursay
Graham Razey, Chairman of the Margate Town Deal Board said:
“As a Town Deal Board we are required to ensure that the case we are putting forward to central government includes the views of Margate’s communities. These views must help to inform the evidence of what is required to help build and grow the town’s economy.
“The ideas and suggestions received will be used to build up a picture of Margate to feed into how we can best meet the Government’s criteria and deliver the maximum positive impact for the town’s economic future.
“We are really pleased by the fantastic response to our call for the People’s Panel and, whilst it’s now closed for new applications, the membership will be reviewed throughout the lifetime of the Town Deal to ensure it reflects this wonderful, diverse community.”