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Archive for April, 2012

Can’t tell you how excited we are that our Margate Town Team Portas Pilot bid went in. We hear they have received 350 bids from across the country. We hope the energy that the town put into organising our Big Margate Sing In in the High Street epitomises everything we’re doing to turn around our High Street.

Taking part in the bid has been a great experience. Margate has a community willing to come together to collaborate and work on a collective vision. People genuinely want the chance to make their town better. We know, we go out and speak to people. Whether we win the chance to be one of Mary Portas’ 12 pilot town teams or not, we’ve now set the wheels in motion for lots of positive change. At the end of this post are our list of Portas Bid Aims. We welcome your ideas too. Please do get in touch.

Isn’t it often said that it’s the taking part that’s important? Well, in this case it’s true. We’ll be publishing details of future Margate Town Team meetings and gatherings for everyone to get involved with. We hope you will enjoy  the videos that have formed part of our bid. We decided to show Mary Portas what we could organise in less than 48 hours with no budget and a whole lot of good will. People came together from all over the area to breathe life into the street. So a big thank you to everyone who made Margate High Street last Saturday. We know we can do so much more.

And we are so so pleased to see that our Margate bid video has been chosen by Empty Shop Network pioneer Dan Thompson in his personal list of 11 inspirational bids!

There are many more videos of interviews on our Margate Town Team YouTube channel.

If you have any photos from the event, please add them to our Margate Town Flickr group.

We will be uploading more videos on our Margate Town Team Youtube Channel.

As ever, please spread the word and support Margate’s bid on Facebook, Twitter and the universe!

Margate Town Team Bid Aims:

Ensuring strong leadership in the team through a diverse and passionate membership built on trust.

Getting the basics right to allow businesses to flourish.

Defining landlords’ roles and responsibilities.

We aim to do this through:

Working with education providers to open a base bringing a student economy to the town centre. Link training with retail and a restaurant.

Opening a quality market, with a variety of stalls, complimenting shops and increasing footfall.

Offering free or low-cost stalls to start-up businesses to “test the water”.

Fostering enterprise and supporting budding entrepreneurs in a low-risk environment with experienced traders as “business buddies”.  Working with Job Centre to explore making the transition from benefits to running own business.

Working with landlords to find ways to offer low-cost initial terms to run “pop-up” shops.

Carry out a survey of empty shops and liaise with landlords to maximise use.  Examine disincentives which lead them leaving  properties vacant. Explore  mechanisms to deal with uncooperative and speculative landlords.

Exploring creative uses of larger retail units by opening shared indoor market spaces.

Proactively marketing Margate as a place where business wants to come. Approaching artists and craftspeople to take up space. Blind Date style matchmaking for traders and properties.

Free Public WIFI and superfast broadband

Green space where visitors, residents and shoppers can relax

Tackling litter by opening a recycling point

Coordinating signage and decluttering street furniture to highlight Old Town, High Street & Northdown Road.

Piloting pedestrianisation of the upper High Street to encourage café culture and events improving the family atmosphere in evenings

Exploring ways to reduce overheads for businesses through collective purchasing. Eg bulk/group buying of – insurance, licensing, shopzone, utilities.

Employing a part-time High Street coordinator, supported by ‘connectors’

Opening a shop space HQ as a focal point for the community and businesses to meet.

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