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The Margate School is awarded Community Ownership Fund

The Margate School is very pleased to announce that it has been awarded a capital grant of £400,000 by the Community Ownership Fund.

Following the support of The Margate School’s new landlord issuing the School with a 25 year lease for the building, the funding will enable us over the next year to undertake some of the urgent remedial work that the former Woolworths building requires, and thus help to preserve this important community asset in Margate's High Street. It will help us to build a future of our grassroot organisation, The Margate School, creating real community value for Margate.

The building stood empty for eleven years before The Margate School took up some space in 2019 and commenced to improve the building using its own funds whilst re- or upcycling donated materials, equipment and furnishings, making up around 80% of the interior.

Uwe Derksen, Director and founder of The Margate School, said:

“The fund from central Government allows the School to significantly improve its working environment and thus increase its value for the communities of Margate. The funding success is an important step in our mission to become an authentic community asset in and for Margate. Having been awarded the capital grant comes at a great moment for us at the beginning of the new academic year and will no doubt inspire our new cohort of students. It is good to see how the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities continues to be confident in ‘The Margate School initiative’. My gratitude also goes out to all the local organisations and individuals who have supported the School and continue to believe in the School’s work ”.

The new funds will cover essential works, including the improvement of insulation and adding a heating system into the building. It will provide an important basis for developing the School onto the next level of becoming a key creative hub in Margate and further afield.

“This substantial grant from the Community Ownership Fund demonstrates the Government's confidence in The Margate School as a model of community embedded education and knowledge exchange, helping us to nurture the next generation of socially and environmentally driven artists and designers, connecting people through our vibrant multi-disciplinary programmes and bringing communities together to forge better futures. It will firmly underpin The Margate School’s ability to build confidence with, and attract funding and investment from, patrons, donors and individual givers alongside public and charitable sources.”, said James Shea, Chair of Trustees, The Margate School CIO.

The Government announced the list of successful applications on Monday 25 September 2023.

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