Saturday, 25 September 2010


The Fort Road Hotel, Arcadian and Arlington Square are amongst key sites to be targeted over the next few months, as Margate prepares for the opening of Turner Contemporary.

An action plan, agreed last night (Thursday 23 September) by Cabinet Members, puts a top 10 list of priority projects at the heart of work over the next few months.

The Fort Road Hotel and Arcadian sites will be tidied and cleared, with decorative hoardings or screening erected. The council is working with the owners to try and bring forward rebuilding plans, but has started compulsory purchase order proceedings as a back-up. With Arlington Square, decorative hoarding will be installed around empty shops and the landowner will be asked to secure the lower car park. Plans for a major redevelopment are expected in autumn 2010 and could begin on site as early as spring 2011.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “Anyone looking at Margate at the moment knows there is still work to do. With the opening of Turner Contemporary in just a few months’ time, we’re determined to tackle the key problem areas. In particular, we’re focusing on seafront properties lying vacant and derelict. When visitors arrive in the town for the new gallery, we want them to get the best possible impression of Margate. After all, we all want people to spread the word about what a great place Margate is to visit. As well as tackling those eyesores, we also want to build pride over the next few months in the town. It’s easy to knock Margate, but that’s not what the town needs right now. It needs everyone to come together and support it, as we approach the opening of Turner Contemporary.”

The work will be funded by £100,000 from the government’s Seaside Fund. Other entries on the top 10 list include:
· Landscaping work to Margate station’s forecourt and car park.
· A series of pop-up shops in Marine Drive, along the seafront, for empty properties.
· Repairs to the Sturgeon lights, repainting seating and the shelter, replacing litter bins and improving signs.
· A deep clean of shopfronts and pavements along the High Street and the seafront.

Also included in the countdown to 2011 plan is a media and communications campaign, aiming to promote the town and initiatives for local businesses. This will include training ambassadors for Margate, a small grant scheme for business improvements, training in areas such as customer excellence and promoting improvements in visitor accommodation.

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