The Big Lottery fund have confirmed a grant of £422,000 to build community rooms at Margate Caves, which added to the funding we've previously raised takes the total to over £500,000.
Award-winning Tunbridge Wells-based Kaner Olette Architects have designed an iconic building for the currently vacant site, and it has received Planning Permission from Thanet District Council.
The Caves are in one of the most deprived areas of the country, so as well as attracting visitors, the new community rooms will be home to an innovative education programme helping local schools study coastal geology, geography and history. The community rooms will also be home to a range of regular classes, workshops and meetings for local people. Local groups will be able to use the rooms and we'll be helping local people start their own groups, too.
“We’re providing a space where people can come together in Cliftonville and find they have more in common than that which separates them,” says Margate Caves chair Sarah Vickery, “by turning a lost visitor attraction which is quite literally part of the local landscape into a place for local people.”
While the Big Lottery grant is a huge step, a further funding application is needed to complete the project, and last week we were given the go ahead to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund. If successful, that grant will be announced in March 2017.