Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

This is an archive of the work by the original Margate Town Team which successfully won the Portas Pilot bid. It runs from the conception of the bid in March 2012 until August 2012.

For current Margate Town Team organisation see: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Margate-Town-Team/248042955318289?fref=ts and www.margatetownteam.org.uk


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We’ve been busy! And we’re really pleased to let everyone know that we will be opening up the empty Woolworth’s building at 31-33 High Street, Margate for a public event.

On Tuesday June 12th at 6.30pm until 8.30pm we invite you to come and see what it’s all about and give your input.

The Town Team’s bid was chosen as one of the first 12 towns in the UK to become one of the ‘Portas Pilot Towns’ with Margate Town Team being awarded the maximum allocation of £100,000 funding from the Government. We know this sum of money can’t fix everything that needs fixing in a street, never mind a town. But we can achieve much much more by working together as a community.


This weekend we put the call out and a band of volunteers turned out on their weekend, brooms and mops in hand to give the wonderful Woolworth’s Building a good scrub. Windows you can now see through! Thank you to everyone who turned up and helped. We also had lots of passers by stop and ask us what it was all about.


Rest assured, dear reader, not a penny has been spent thus far! We don’t have any! But if we did…we’d be just as frugal.

Please download, print off and stick up a poster to show your support for Margate High Street:
Margate Town Team Public Meeting 12th June (PDF)
We love Margate High Street

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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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We’re getting all excited about tomorrow’s Margate Big Sing In as we film the grande finale of Margate’s bid to be chosen as one of Mary Portas’ Pilot Towns.

Saturday 24th March
Outside Claire’s Accessories (below Rook’s), Margate High Street

So you can practice, here are the lyrics from Chas and Dave themselves. We’ll have them for you on the day.


Well I’ve been working hard to reach me target
To earn a few bob for a day trip down to Margate
I’m gonna blow the lot tomorrow on all me family
We catch the coach at eight so don’t be late, were off to see the sea

Hurry up will ya Grandad, come on were going

Down to Margate, don’t forget your buckets and spades and cossys and all
Down to Margate, we’ll have a pill of jellied eels at the cockle stall
Down to Margate, we’ll go on the pier and we’ll have a beer aside of the sea

Down to Margate, you can keep the Costa Brava, I’m telling ya mate I’d rather have a day down Margate with all me family

Along the promenade we spend some money
And we find a spot on the beach that’s simply sunny
The kids will all enjoy themself digging up the sand, collecting stones and winkle shells to take back home to nan

Behave yourself Grandad, or you won’t be going

Down to Margate, don’t forget your buckets and spades and cossies and all
Down to Margate, we’ll have a pill of jellied eels at the cockle stall
Down to Margate, we’ll go on the pier and we’ll have a beer aside of the sea
You can keep the Costa Brava and all that palava, going no farther, me i’d rather have me a day down Margate with all me family

Until tomorrow!

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We hope you will come along and join us on Saturday the 24th of March (yes, that’s this Saturday, folks!) to take part in our special  Margate big sing in to support the funding bid for Margate High Street to be chosen as one of Mary Portas’ pilot towns. We’re putting the call out for everyone to help us show that our town should be awarded this great opportunity. So come one and all, and help us put on an event to remember.

Date: Saturday 24th March

Time: 1pm

Place: Outside Claire’s Accessories shop, Margate High Street (Upper End)

So, what’s going on? We’re organising a big sing in. No need to be shy, you’ll not be alone! Tell your friends and sign up on the Facebook page. Don’t worry if you won’t know the words, we’ll have that covered! What Margate needs is you!

We’ll be belting out a special Margate version of Chas and Dave’s classic ‘Down to Margate’ as the grand finale to our video entry.

If you could RSVP to info@margatetownteam.org.uk that would be smashing. And of course, tell your friends!

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