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The Margate School continues its Fundraising to Secure its Future

As we entered 2023, The Margate School (TMS), an independent, postgraduate, liberal arts school, and a not-for-profit organisation with an asset lock in place, faced threat of imminent closure after several recent funding bids failed to materialise.


Thanks to considerable public support TMS is now out of immediate danger, having raised £50,000 in only three weeks through a successful Crowdfunder campaign. £41,106 by direct donation to the campaign and an additional £12,500 sent by cheque from a long term supporter of Margate and its environs with this support message:


“I am happy to support The Margate School which I consider to be a wonderful facility to encourage young budding artists to explore the extent of their talents, and encourage further artists to come to the Margate area, which has such a long history of artistic creation.

“Margate has so much character and the town centre art school can only be encouraging for artists endeavours, which is ultimately beneficial for the whole community.”


Over 400 messages of support have been sent and the community has pulled together by creating artworks to support the fundraising, both in the form of Save The Margate School posters and social media posts, through a public projection on venues around Margate and by donating artworks to an online auctions which raised £1,329.50. Our next event will be the TMS Benefit No Surrender gig featuring live music, comedy and art on 4 and 5 March 2023, with acts to be announced and ticket sales launched at the beginning of February.


The £50,000 raised so far enables TMS to stabilise, continue current teaching provision and implement plans to secure the future of TMS in the long term. It ensures that all the current students can complete their courses this academic year and that the studios, exhibition space and facilities will remain open to the community. Inevitably this crisis has caused us a major disruption and there will be ripple effects for the next few months, which we will need to deal with.


The ambition is to continue the fund raising to build a bursary fund to support our students, studio holders, fellows and other community members in accessing our technical training and facilities. We already have a seed-fund pledge to kickstart this process and plan to build on this and grow the support mechanisms already in place at TMS.


In addition to this, a big challenge is to secure TMS in the former Woolworths building in Margate High Street and we are in negotiations with the owner and Margate Creative Land Trust and a private investor.


Uwe Derksen, founder and director of The Margate School says: “This is more than an amazing achievement, given that we are already stretched running a complex organisation, the stress that everybody has been under because of the crisis and the very limited time we have had to turn this around. We, the team, are all on a very low flat rate of pay and everyone gives well beyond their call of duty, the rest of our community then came out fighting followed by the wider community. From the success of the fundraising and very importantly from the many many supportive comments, we come out of this crisis much more confident, knowing that we have an important role to play in the arts, in education, in the regeneration of Margate. A big thank you for all the support.”


The fund raising will continue in order to build a bursary fund for support of our students, studio holders, fellows and other community members to access the technical training and facilities at TMS. We already have a seed-fund pledge to kickstart this process and plan to build on this and grow the support mechanisms already in place at TMS.


Many people are continuing to offer support and asking how they can contribute financially - this can be done through the TMS website support page here

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