Monday, June 02, 2008

Fort Hill A Few Dollars More

Word on the Margate (soon to be half a) street is that the utterly pointless de-dualling of Fart Hill over in the Arsonists' Playground is currently something like 60 big ones over it's already considerable six figure budget. Lord knows what they've spent it on, as every time I go past there seems to be nothing happening. Still, it brings the cost of Turnip MkII ever closer to £20m. Any bets on the final figure being on the shiny side of that?

Meanwhile I see the Outfitters Gallery on the Old Town piazza (The Parade in old money) finally has a sold sign in the window. If you recall, this place was tarted up, with EU and arts funding, into a nice little seaside des res with a bit of an old gallery on the ground floor. Now it's netted its owners a tidy £415,000. Well, that was the asking price anyway. Arts regen at its best, eh!

Still, there's one recently relocated Margatonian who thinks we're all being far too negative. She writes: 'There are several blogs about Thanet and they are forums for a handful of negative people with nothing better to do than sit on their backsides and slag off anyone who seems like an appropriate target to blame for their plight. The council is a great target - like they are responsible for everything. I’ve seen the council blamed for all manner of things - not reducing business rates (actually that’s all to do with central government - dur), not doing anything with empty shops (actually isn’t that down to landlords and tenants?) and not providing jobs (actually the council are actively involved with lots of private sector collaborations to do just that.)' She adds: 'No I don’t work for the council - I just know a good one when I see one.'

Crikey! Well, she is an artist. Perhaps all that paint and glue has, er, gone to her head!


Anonymous said...

iF the building is sold, will a portion of the sale proceeds be given back to repay the public grants received?

Eastcliff Richard said...

Of course. Just as we'll all one day fly in frequent, scheduled pigs to a host of international destinations from Kent International Airport!

Anonymous said...

you try getting the grant money claw back to GOSE figures from TDC mate!!! talk about taking the P*** artist.

I can see a lovely little storm brewing and it aint over france?

Anonymous said...

The cheery blog must have been written by Sandy Shagpiles love child . I thought it might have been done by the great man himself but it has punctuation and words of more than one syllable .

We all love a lot about Thanet but we do have a useless ,shortsighted , bunch of idiots running the council . They do not see what is good about the place as most of them have never left and have no
vision to improve it.
Go down the coast in either direction Deal or Whitstable and you have better run councils who improve their towns even though they do not have the natural beauty and drama of the coast line that we have.
Go to Ostende and see a fantastic museum built around the last trawler that used to sail to Iceland.
That could be the future of the maritime museum rather than letting it rot with little funding . The Time and Tide museum in Great Yarmouth has provided a depressed costal town with a great exhibit that brings in visitors and gives them a great sense of the maritime history. If the council looked at these things rather than going on pointless jollys to China, and starting punch ups at civic events, they might get less flak.
Until they do we are right to be "negative" otherwise you will become like a lot of locals who see this crap service as their lot with no hope of change

Anonymous said...

Thanet can now boast an MP calling for the death penalty to deter knife crime. Roger Gale.

Similar measures to deter firearms crime, however, might hemp collar a good proportion of the North Thanet Tory Assn ?

"It is a pallet knife yer onor" said trembling Maisy Grace "I is hobliged to carry one in pursuance of me daily endeavours."

"And the stanley knife young lady ?"

"Me dad Sandy's carried in good faith as a purveyor of carpets and only temporarily in my safekeeping whilst he attended a council function at the venerable Winter gardens good merciful sir. I honly had it sos he would not be tempted to use it if perchance he accosted a dyslexic magisterial mayor of the parish kind yer honour"

Peter Checksfield said...

She's probably right in saying that many of us are over-negative...having said that, I really can't see the point of spending so much time & money on de-dualling Fort Hill (surely if TDC really believe that The Turner Centre is going to attract as many people as they claim then they're going to need dual carriage ways!).

Anonymous said...

Let's have a bit of charity the poor girl dont seem to have been here long. A lot of the bloggers she is whinging about have all led lives outside Thanet they are not the people who have got us into this mess they can see what potential there is here from the outside perhaps she hasn't realised that.

She is right to say it is the Thanet timeservers who have bled the place dry by caring about nothing but lining their own pockets.

bertie biggles said...

Did Cllr Green ever get an answer about the repayment of the grant to 'Outfitters'? A year has gone by since your original posting on the topic and if I remember, a deafening silence was the response from a well known Thanet blog that has since suspended. It seems that anything of an artistic bent gets money thrown at it and subsequently wasted.

Peter Checksfield said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Similar questions about grant repayment could be asked about Impressions which has now gone into private hands. What's happened to all the money it got?

Anonymous said...

Maisiegrace has hit the nail dead on I reckon.
All the bleating about what she says just prooves it.
"The bloggers doth protest......etc."
(famous saying)

Anonymous said...

Yes lets all just keep quiet and suck on the public tit until it runs dry.

Fannit Fan said...

I seem to recall that a year or so ago a lot of money was spent changing Chatham's one-way system back to a two-way system. A year later they changed it back again as everyone hated the new system worse than the old. Time will tell whether the road changes in Margate are sensible or not

Message to new resident - we welcome you to our island but you don't understand - it is because we are all fond of dear old Fannit that we all blog about it - if we didn't care so much we wouldn't bother - or would move away.

Anonymous said...

Eastcliff, a £60k overspend is being generous. According to one local councillor, the overspend on Fort Hill is nearer £150,000. That pushes the total past £900k! Ridiculous and pointless.

Apparently, SEEDA and Farts Council have yet to divvy up their shares of the Turner project cash. So, who knows, Turner may yet not go ahead after all if they hold on to their money.

Nearly £1 million will have been wasted and we'll end up with a road that is only half as useful as it was before.

Nick, Whits

Margate Architecture said...

Well, I'm a relative newcomer to Margate and I've met some really positive locals in my time so far. Some are having a hard time retaining that positivity when they have seen best laid plans go to waste time and time again. But I hope that my optimism isn't misguided and that I won't too see the plans fall by the waste side. So I can see Maisie's point but on the other hand even in the 15 months I've been in town, I've seen a few jaw dropping 'I can't believe it' moments on the part of TDC. This is one of the reasons I set up my blog in the first place. But I'm happy to give credit where credit is due.

Margate Architecture said...

On the other hand, after a little re-read:

"Unfortunately, many of the local population, yes, the people who are responsible for its demise through their lack of forward thinking, make griping a speciality" I think this is a bit harsh. As far as I can see, many of the people I would hold responsible for Margate's decline don't blog or use a computer!

steve said...

I was there at the weekend for the first time. Gallery is great. Also visited the turner (con)temporary, was duly told I was not allowed to take photo's (because I could show others outside how sh1t it was?). I stared at the fire extinguishers for 15 minutes before someone told me they weren't part of the exhibition. I was the only visitor in either.
30 minutues later, I was amongst a few thousand people at palm bay where inflatable slides, tractor rides, coconut shys, fairground rides etc, were packed to capacity, car parks full etc etc.

Is art/turner really going to pack 'em in?

Anonymous said...

Steve - No one has said the Harbour Arm is finished yet. No one has ever told me off for taking pictures. I take lots! As for Palm Bay and bouncy castles etc. I'm glas they're givign Central margate a miss for a change. Every opportunity to promote something in Margate out come the plastic generator driven monstrosities. I don't think we'll see the back of them, and there were on the Harbour Arm opening too. Sigh. it's abotua quality future vision for Margate. There aren't exactly crowds flocking to the arcades and bouncy castles on the main sands either.

Anonymous said...

Palm Bay? Bouncy castles? What was that then? Typical - another successful local event given absolutely no local publilcity.

Anonymous said...

The bouncy castles were probably part of the Bucket and Spade run entertainment on Sunday. Indeed a good local event not publicised because the frigging organisers didn't inform at least one of the local papers, I'm told!

If anyone is wandering along Margate High Street between now and Saturday 6th June, please take time to visit the Dramscape exhibition in the Substation Gallery. This is located between Burton's and KFC via an alleyway.

Between 12pm and 5pm each day you can view a wooden replica scenic railway and a lot of rare Dreamland memorabilia from local collections. It's free and well worth the effort to recall what a good show Margate could provide in years gone by for locals and visitors.

It has already been acclaimed and while numbers are not going to break records, they are far better than those of Turner Temporary a few doors away.

Nick, Whits

Anonymous said...


This would not be the Turner building, that is not worth the money the authorities paid for it, would it?

Has any one totaled up the entire costs so far that has currently gave us not the Turnip centre...well at the moment that is.


Maisiegrace said...

I don't know what the official line is on why Fort Hill is being de-dualled but it seems to me that it will create valuable front-line land. It's clear that the position isn't exactly well-utilised at the moment, given the state of the Arcadian and Fort Hotel, and the positioning of the police station! Surely extending a valuable part of Margate seafront will be good for the town? Regarding the cost - isn't it KCC money, not TDC's anyway?

Last I heard was that the council are equally pissed off about the Outfitter's Gallery situation and are trying to get the owner to pay back the grant money. I sincerely hope they succeed. It's completely out of order. If it's any consolation, the most recent asking price was much lower than you quoted.

Now I must go and sniff some more glue.

Margate Architecture said...

Maisie - yes, last I heard the asking price was down to £350k. Re the grant money, one hopes that TDC had a solid legal agreement in place before work commenced? Oops? I agree the de-dualing of Fort Hill to be a good thing. I hope that the plans of re-routing further traffic away from the seafront can come to fruition too. Can you believe that not so long ago there were elaborate plans to demolish areas such as Hawley Square with a major road to the seafront. Crazy Brits just don't enjoy the seaside as most europeans. We have dual carriageways and parking where others have promenades, views and restaurants.

steve said...

margate architecure, re seafront.

Ramsgate used to have a beautiful lido, but won a grant to turn it into a car park......from the European Union.

Margate Architecture said...

Steve - the eagerness to make grants fit has been responsible for a lot of destruction.

steve said...

would you agree there is desperation in relation to the Turner Centre, almost a blind faith that by plonking "supermans fortress" in the town will rid it of all evils?