The members of the newly convened Margate Town Deal Board met for the first time on Friday 6 March 2020. Set up in response to government’s inclusion of Margate in its Towns Fund, the Board’s role is to champion future growth and investment in the area. There is up to £25 million available from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for Margate through a successful Deal.
Tasked with creating a roadmap for Margate’s economic growth, the work of the Board will focus on ensuring the town thrives as a place to live and work in for generations to come. A key action of the Board will be negotiations with the government for the maximum funding available to help drive forward its strategy and vision.
Graham Razey, Chief Executive of the EKC Group, is Chair of the Margate Town Deal Board. He has considerable experience and a track record of public service leadership and said: “I’m really excited to Chair this new Board, and work in collaboration with our whole local community to accelerate Margate’s growth and economic regeneration.
“Thanet has always been close to my heart and, with its recent revival, I think that we can truly be optimistic about Margate’s future as a destination for visitors, and a cultural hub for the wider area. The town has already seen significant progress over the past decade, and I’m looking forward to ensuring this new Town Deal helps to catalyse further growth to the benefit of the whole community.”
Margate is in line to receive a share of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund after it was shortlisted by the MHCLG in 2019. The Town Deal Board will focus on winning funding for regeneration, infrastructure and skills projects and will consult with the community on what priorities residents and local stakeholders want to see. It will then use the feedback received to help inform its investment plan.
The Board’s membership is drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors in line with government requirements. Among the partner organisations involved are EKC Group, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Studio Sam Causer, Margate Town Team, Kent County Council, the MP, Dreamland, Turner Contemporary, Jobcentre Plus and Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital. They will act in an advisory capacity to Thanet District Council.
The Town Deal Board will also include two community representatives who will be selected following applications by interested parties. The representatives will contribute to the delivery of an evidence based Town Investment Plan. Anyone interested in the role is invited to express an interest in writing by close of business on Tuesday 31 March 2020.
A key part of the project will be community engagement and the board is keen to receive suggestions from key stakeholders and the public based on the requirements set out by the government. As such, one of the Board’s first decisions was to agree in principle, to invite tenders for public engagement services to support its upcoming engagement and consultation activities.
Councillor Ruth Duckworth, Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Estates & Economic Development welcomed the launch of the Town Deal Board as the key to unlocking funding for regeneration.
She said: “The Town Deal Board brings together people with a huge amount of experience and expertise in order to create a successful proposal for funding from the Towns Fund. The amount of money Margate receives will be determined by the strength of the Investment Plan submitted to the Government and the Deal that we can do.
“This is just the beginning of a good conversation about how we can all work together to use this fund to create opportunities and jobs for people. We are keen for residents’ voices to be heard and look forward to working with the local community on their ideas for making a significant and positive impact on our town.”
More information can be found at thanet.gov.uk/margate-town-deal