It is with great frustration and disappointment that GRASS Cliftonville CIC have decided to go public with our experiences working with Thanet District Council (TDC) on the Margate Town Deal. We have reached this difficult decision due to the lack of progress and support provided by TDC throughout this arduous process.
For the past eight months, work on our project has been placed on hold, forcing us to change our project programme multiple times, and delaying the start date of our build from September 2023 to September 2024. Unfortunately, the inefficiency of TDC’s regeneration project team has resulted in inflation eating away at the Margate Town Deal’s rapidly depleting funds, making all the projects much less viable. Despite repeatedly expressing our concerns to the Director of Regeneration about the impact of these delays on our match funding applications and overall project delivery, little progress has been made, and we have faced numerous challenges and obstacles that have made every step feel like an uphill battle.
It has become painfully clear to us that the Margate Town Deal’s project team has allocated insufficient resources to the Coastal Wellbeing projects, leaving the Cliftonville community on the back burner. We have not received the revenue funding that should have been allocated to our project, which instead was directed to TDC’s own projects, making the delivery of The Oval Bandstand’s project much more difficult. This imbalance raises serious questions about the council’s commitment to serving the best interests of the Margate community.
Over the next few days we will be making further announcements about our experiences working with TDC on the Margate Town Deal, including additional information on our missing revenue funding, as well as details about our contract negotiations and TDC’s insistence that we sign an NDA clause before we receive the remainder of our funding.