Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Mixed Development

A group of MP's have been in Margate to look at the needs of coastal towns, as part of a major national inquiry.

The Select Committee from the Communities and Local Government department (previously the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) is considering whether coastal towns are getting the support and funding that they need and whether more regional initiatives are needed to help certain parts of the country.

The Inquiry has been taking oral and written evidence over the last few months and yesterday (Wednesday 18 October), some of the MP's on the Select Committee visited Margate to learn more about the barriers to successful regeneration. They also wanted to find out people's views on the current help available from regional and local government and whether there is a need for new initiatives to support towns like Margate.

During their visit, the MP's saw the development at the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital, Dreamland, the work undertaken by the community in Dalby Square, learnt more about the Council's work in the Cliftonville West Renewal Area and visited Droit House to hear about plans for Turner Contemporary. They also spoke to representatives from local organisations and young people about their views on Margate and its regeneration.

Leader of Thanet Council, Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel, said: "We wanted to highlight to the MP's that we have already done a lot in Margate and Thanet with the regeneration funding that we have received over the last few years, but there is still much to do. That was the message that we put across to the MP's and now we'll wait to see what recommendations they make and what action the government takes in response."

He added: "Continued funding from regional and national government is key to our aims of regenerating Margate. For example, money from the South East England Development Agency has already enabled us to purchase the former Marks and Spencer building, which is now being used for the latest Turner Contemporary exhibition and which will soon be the temporary home for the town's library. Eventually we'll be looking at a mixed use development at that site, to help bring people back to live in the town, along with modern retail space and commercial floor space. This is the sort of project that can make a real difference to the area and for that, we need government money to kick start the investment."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The biggest single issue to be considered when dealing with the regeneration of Margate is getting the Dreamland site out of the hands of Waterbridge and into the hands of a committed operator.

From what I've heard the Select Committee agreed strongly, after their meeting with the Save Dreamland Campaign Rep.

I did think Sandy had realised that once but he seems to have got preoccupied with other things.