-Why is Margate a Brexit town?
-Margate vs Dymchurch
-The long tail value of good infrastructure and planning
Most of you won’t have been to Margate and most of you never will go. In that sense, Margate shares some similarity with the Indonesia jungle.
A theme park like Dreamlands must be as alien to the Wana tribe as no running water must be to most of us.
There are signs of dilapidation in Margate even around the most attractive parts of the beach front and near the boutique shops and creative workshops. But there’s also evidence of regeneration - not only in the big infrastructure of the Turner Gallery and the Dreamlands theme park - but in the renovation of some of the older Victorian and Georgian houses.
The signs of decay (and so lack of perceived investment) and the lack of productive jobs seem to me to major causes of discontent that have led to Brexit. Immigration hasn’t helped the area but the impression I have is that if there were good jobs, then people wouldn’t mind.
Still, the infrastructure and planning in my observation seemed relatively intact.
In this Margate has advantages over Dymchurch. Dymchurch doesn’t seem to have the same infrastructure heritage that has remained in Margate plus it has less to offer now.
In that sense, I worry more about towns like Dymchurch. It’s unclear to me what sparks regeneration, if anything. Perhaps the answer is that people should move away, but we see that doesn’t work for many.
I can see hope for Margate. While houses have been turned into bedsits, it wouldn’t take too much to turn them back (although rental yields are higher for bedsits currently) and the built infrastructure capital both in what was planned in the 1800s era when Margate was a wealthy holiday town and the new art gallery, theme park (one of oldest rollercoasters in the world) and fledgling creative activities plus the nearness to Canterbury, London and the SE network agglomeration effects could rejuvenate the town.
It’s a shame the science skills of Sandwich (ex-Pfizer) and GSK sites in the area are diminished and that will be unhelpful.
Still, there is natural capital beauty and it’s still good for a getaway.
Pictures below including beach and theme park and gallery.