Thanet District Council has today (Friday 18 June), submitted two bids to the Levelling Up Fund totalling £26.1m of proposed public sector investment for the district.
The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities across the UK. This includes a range of high value local investment priorities, for local transport schemes, urban regeneration projects and cultural assets.
The Fund is jointly managed by HM Treasury (HMT), the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Department for Transport (DfT). It is a competitive programme and applicants are expected to find out in the autumn of this year if their bids have been successful.
The funding will be prioritised based on their level of need and Thanet was identified as a Category 1 place.
As there are two parliamentary constituency areas in Thanet, the council was able to put forward two bids that were backed by the local MP’s.
The two bids submitted include a package bid for Ramsgate, and a single project for Margate.
Package bid for Ramsgate – £19.8m funding ask
There are three components to the bid for Ramsgate:
- The Port. Investment in Port Infrastructure will create a Green Port which will provide a hub for innovation and training, allied to a modern hybrid Port, supporting renewable energy and zero carbon maritime logistics. Investing jointly with the private sector we will create a Green Campus including a Centre of Excellence for offshore operations and maintenance, space for innovation in low carbon logistics and a hub for green business. This investment will unlock the opportunity to provide real economic growth, job creation and training places in the heart of Ramsgate.
- The Royal Harbour. We are seeking investment to link buildings within the harbour area to develop new and distinctive visitor assets that will provide important new training and employment pathways for residents. A new boutique hotel and a high end restaurant and a brasserie will provide meaningful apprenticeships and in work training in hospitality. These will be accompanied by vital investment in quayside fishing facilities to enable the local fleet to store and sell their catch, as well as providing new fishing and maritime jobs and training to support the growth and resilience of the town’s fishing community. New public realm adjacent to a refurbished clocktower will create a new town square, as well as connecting projects and reducing congestion within the centre.
- Assets to Connect to Opportunity. We are proposing to invest in two community access points including one at Newington and one in central Ramsgate. These will provide the spaces for people to access information and first stage activity as part of wider career development. This will include training kitchens, community teaching space, opportunities for intermediate labour markets and information exchange, as well as space for existing local charities to operate out of.
The project team received fourteen letters of support for the bid from private, public, and voluntary sector organisations along with Craig MacKinlay MP.
The council commissioned independent consultants PRD Ltd and We Made That to prepare the Ramsgate Future Levelling Up Fund bid, as well as develop a wider and longer term Investment Plan for the town.
Following today’s submission, work will continue to develop the wider Town Investment Plan for Ramsgate and there will be opportunities for the public and businesses to engage further.
For information on this process and to get involved, the project team are contactable at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit the web pages, email@example.com which will be updated as the Plan is developed.
Bid for Margate – £6.3m funding ask
The bid for Margate is for the MargateDigital project; a specialist industry-focused centre positioned in Margate High Street.
Thanet District Council, in partnership with the EKC Group and the Margate School aims to create 2,000 sq m of cutting-edge, industry-relevant training space which will focus on digital technology. The shared space will link with local businesses, and increased footfall will enhance the town centre, making it more attractive to residents, visitors and businesses. It will deliver a range of technical qualifications, including specialised T Levels in Animation, Architecture, Programming, Coding, Graphics, Marketing, TV and Film, and offer seamless progression to Level 4 and 5 provision by introducing new Higher Technical Qualifications, supported by a government-backed brand and quality mark to meet the higher-level skills of industry.
Sir Roger Gale MP is championing this bid for Margate.
Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Ash Ashbee said “This is a fantastic opportunity for the district. Being identified as a priority one area for the Levelling Up Fund by the Government demonstrates the support we require to be able to start a plan of recovery due to the Covid pandemic and to try and turn the fortunes around for Thanet.
“The council has worked with our communities, having engaged with 800 residents, businesses and organisations in Ramsgate and with its stakeholders, such as EKC Group to put forward two very compelling bids to the Levelling Up Fund. A heartfelt thank you to everyone that has contributed to the community and stakeholder engagement and provided letters of support or information to help inform our bid.
“We have the full backing and support from both our local MPs, Craig Mackinlay and Sir Roger Gale in the development and submissions of these bids and we look forward to hearing more from central government on the proposals we have submitted.
“Thanet is a fantastic place to live, and with the proposals contained in these two bids we aim to make the biggest difference to all of our communities, businesses and stakeholders. If successful, this could help to make a real difference in the district’s economy, providing job and training opportunities for as many people as possible, in diverse sectors of our economy”.
Full details of the Levelling Up bids will be published on the council’s website if they are successful in line with Government guidance.