Six inspiring leaders join Margate’s Creative Land Trust Board of Trustees

Margate Creative Land Trust (Margate CLT) has appointed six independent leaders to the Board of Trustees to lead its vision and establish Margate as one of the most prominent creative production hubs in the UK.

The new trustees are:

  • Chair Designate – Paula Hirst
  • Dan Chilcott
  • Chris Crook
  • Laura Middlehurst
  • Naomi Cooper-Davis
  • Lewis Ahlquist

They join the set-up Board*, who will stay in post for another six months to ensure a seamless handover to the new Board.

The Margate Creative Land Trust is a newly established charity helping to secure long-term space for the creative industries, and opportunities for people to participate in the arts.

Margate is home to a burgeoning creative community and has been identified as a key production hub within the Thames Estuary Production Corridor.

Whilst creative businesses have grown recently, Margate has lost 11% of its commercial spaces in the last 20 years. There is a vital and urgent need to provide space in the long-term to creative practitioners in order to protect and grow the creative industries in the area.

There is also an urgent need to ensure more of the local community benefit from access to space and opportunities in the creative industries.

It is an exciting time to join the Margate Creative Land Trust. £6million of funding has been secured from Central Government to set up; purchase physical space in Margate and provide affordable rents; and deliver community programmes.

Between them, the Board members have a diverse skill set and life experience, including leaders working in worlds of creative practice, property, charity, finance or fundraising. They are all committed team players who are creative thinkers and doers.


Sufiya Patel, Chair of the set-up Board said:


“We’ve been so impressed by the strong response to our call for trustees – the team have got fantastic experience of the creative sector in Margate, property, placemaking, community engagement, charities and start-ups and I am looking forward to working to bring the new Trustees and Chair on board. Now we’ve got a full board we are looking forward to the next step of employing a team and securing a first property.”


Brian Horton, Town Deal Board Chair said:

“Another exciting milestone for the Margate Town Deal as the Margate Creative Land Trust appoints its new Chair and Trustees. The Trust has conducted a rigorous recruitment process and we were greatly encouraged by the response from prospective candidates.

“I am delighted with the outcome, a new cohort of Trustees with relevant experience and enormous enthusiasm for the task at hand. We now have a strong and highly motivated team that is keen to make a demonstrably positive impact – exciting times ahead!”


Cllr Reece Pugh, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Thanet District Council said:

“The appointment of the Trustees marks an important step forward for the Margate Creative Land Trust and I would like to thank everyone who continues to work so hard to bring the Creative Land Trust to fruition.

“The creative industries are hugely important to the ongoing regeneration of the town, and the Margate Creative Land Trust will support a wide range of employment opportunities not only in Margate, but across the whole district.”



Set up Board members


*The set-up Board members are:


  • Sufiya Patel (Commercial Director at Applied, former workspace operator and part of the consultant team that set up the Creative Land Trust in London)


  • Kirsten Dunne (Senior Manager for Culture and public realm at the Greater London Authority and part of the set-up team for the Creative Land Trust in London)


  • Sanjivan Kohil (Head of Development at Turner Contemporary, Margate)


**Towns Fund


On 27 July 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the Towns Fund would support an initial 101 places across England to develop Town Deal proposals, to drive economic regeneration and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth. See further details of the announcement.


A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between government, the Lead Council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision.


See the 101 places being supported to develop Town Deals.


Each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19.


View a list of accelerated funding by place (PDF, 266 KB, 11 pages).

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