The Theatre Royal, located in the heart of Margate, was first constructed in 1787. The current building is Grade II* listed and retains its Victorian interior which dates from 1874. The Theatre Royal is the UK’s second oldest working theatre and is of national significance. It was listed in 1955 and in 2018, it was added to the Theatre Trust’s At Risk Register.
The new vision is to combine the Theatre Royal and 19 Hawley Square. These places have a long and shared history. They will be preserved, restored and modernised, with the aim of creating a performing arts hub in Margate. The aim is to establish a circular theatre economy to promote performing arts and create a supportive environment to:
Provide opportunities for young people to get involved in performing arts and creative careers
Attract local, national, and international performances and events
Create theatre productions featuring professional and local actors to be enjoyed by audiences worldwide
The new vision for the Theatre Royal focuses on heritage, performance and financial sustainability. 19 Hawley Square will be developed into a theatre production space with a bar, cafe, studio theatre, recording studio and rehearsal rooms. It will also have offices and accommodation for touring theatre companies.
The Theatre Royal project has been allocated £2.2m of Margate Town Deal funding. The ambitious scope of the project means that we need to secure funding from external sources for the project to succeed. An application is in process for a further £3.2m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. We are talking to the Arts Council about applying for the Cultural Development Fund, which will be launched in 2024.
We are inviting both the public and potential operators to engage with the new vision and plans which can be viewed in full here.
Public feedback can be submitted until 4pm Wednesday 20 December, on Your Voice Thanet
The operators’ feedback questionnaire can be submitted until Wednesday 24 January 2024, via our website.
To ensure you receive updates about any further engagement activity in relation to the Town Deal projects including the Theatre Royal project, you can join the Margate Town Deal mailing list.Permalink
The People’s Panel
The Panel, of around 65 members, was set up in October 2020 and worked with the Town Deal Board and project team to develop the Town Investment Plan which has provisionally secured up to £22.2 million of funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The People’s Panel wanted a representative from the Margate Town Deal Board as their Chair. Eddie Kemsley was happy to take on the role and has the skill set and experience required. The Town Deal ratified the decision for Eddie to Chair the People’s Panel.
The Panel was set up in October 2020 and worked with the Town Deal Board and project team to develop the Town Investment Plan which has provisionally secured up to £22.2 million of funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The People’s Panel is not itself a decision making body, so the membership will not be made public. Its role is to help the Board understand public opinions and put forward ideas for consideration.
Margate Town Deal People’s Panel Terms of Engagement
This document outlines the expected behaviour of members of the Margate Town Deal People’s Panel. It applies to all members of the People’s Panel, in all activities related to the work of the Panel and the wider Margate Town Deal, both on and offline. Continued participation in the Panel is contingent on meeting the expectations laid out in this document.