12 Market Place Options Meeting 7th November

The presentation from the public engagement meeting is available to download 

 

Audio recording of the Options Meeting 

 

Verbatim Comments from Survey

 

Option 1 Retail Unit

To support the evaluation of this option, the Council has sought two estimates of rental value from specialist agents. The more conservative of the two was £23,500 and the more optimistic, £25,546pa. In addition, the Council would make a saving of around £5,000 on business rates. This is not an inconsiderable sum which would go some way in offsetting the Council's loan repayments. There is, of course, no guarantee that the space would readily let, given there are already a number of vacant retail spaces in the town. Expert advice indicates the space would be more suitable for A3 catering purposes, such as a chain coffee shop.

Option 2 Visitor Information, Heritage Hub, Magna Carta Museum

Under this proposal the Town Council would seek to use the space as a combination of a visitor information centre, 'Heritage Hub' and a permanent Magna Carta exhibition. The centrepiece to this option would be the creation of a Geographic Information Mapping System. This system would project a map of the town on to a large screen, enabling the presentation of a series of maps covering a specific theme over a period of time. The Magna Carta exhibition would provide a dedicated section displaying a selection of the Town's charters together with other civic regalia; providing information on the importance of medieval Faversham.

Option 3 Information Gateway

Public services for Faversham residents are provided by three councils and a range of other organisations. Drawing services that provide information, advice and support to the public together in one location, should save residents time and energy in accessing services and improve the quality of service they receive. We now need to have discussions with KCC, Swale Borough Council and government funded agencies like Job Centre Plus and the voluntary sector to explore whether it is viable to use 12 Market Place for this function.

Option 4 Continue use as an exhibition space

The ground floor has been in near constant use as an exhibition centre over the last couple of years. The events monitoring visitor numbers recorded in excess of 16,000 people across the last year. Drawing people to the town centre has several benefits beside the obvious cultural and educational benefits. It contributes to a sense of community, providing a place where people can engage with others, often outside their usual circle. Increasing footfall to Faversham also helps support the independent shops and market traders. There have been exhibitions, such as the 'WW1 Bunting Project' and  'Cleve Hill Solar Farm', which provided insight into major changes that could impact Faversham and surrounding area.




Options for 12 Market Place as detailed in Autumn 2019 Newsletter

Option 1 - Rental for Retail

To support the evaluation of this option the Council has sought two estimates of rental value from specialist agents. The more conservative of the two was £23,500 and the more optimistic, £25,546 per annum. In addition, the Council would make a saving of around £5,000 on business rates. This is not an inconsiderable sum which would go some way in off setting the Council's loan repayments. There is of course, no guarantee that the space would readily let, given there are already a number of vacant retails spaces in the Town. That said, the space is sufficiently large to be of interest to national scale retailers, but perhaps to the detriment of local independents. All the potential positive and negative consequences of this option will be weighed and ultimately considered against the other three options 

Option 2 - Heritage Hub with Magna Carta Museum

Under this proposal the Town Council would seek to use the space as a combination of a visitor information centre, ‘Heritage Hub’ and a permanent Magna Carta exhibition. The centrepiece to this option would be the creation of a Geographic Information System Mapping facility. This would be a system that projects a map of the Town on to a large table screen, enabling the presentation of a series of maps covering a specific theme over a period a time. These maps would be shown in layers, covering the topic and its evolution in time. Topics covered could include geology, religion, the Faversham creek, brewing and gunpowder production. Option 2 Magna Carta Museum Heritage Hub ! Be used to focus on a particular period of history, such as Roman, Medieval or Georgian, supported by additional material on the walls of the Centre. The Magna Carta exhibition would provide a dedicated section of the ground floor, and cover the following themes: ! The Faversham Magna Carta – what is a Magna Carta? The history of Edward I issue of the Magna Carta to Faversham in 1300. Clauses of interest relating to Faversham. ! Faversham's Royal Charters – what is a Royal Charter? Henry IV Charter. Timeline of Charters. ! The Importance of Medieval Faversham – Faversham Abbey and founding member of the Cinque Ports. ! Faversham's Regalia – how the Town was governed. The ceremonial treasures. 

Option 3 - Information Gateway, providing a wide range of public, voluntary and community services

Public services for Faversham residents are provided by three councils and a range of other organisations. At the moment obtaining information and advice in person about these services involves visiting a range of locations in the Town and further afield which can be expensive and time consuming, particularly for those who are most reliant on public transport and public services and who find it difficult to access services online or by phone. Drawing services that provide information, advice and support to the public together in one location should save residents time and energy in accessing services and improve the quality of the service they receive, as siting services in one location can lead to better coordination between agencies. The Gateway Centre in Sheerness is a good example of how this approach might work, residents are able to access Citizens Advice, Swale Borough Council and specialist advice services under one roof. providing a wide range of community services.  The central location of 12 Market Place makes the ground floor an obvious premises to consider for a 'one stop shop' drawing a range of advice and information services together. We now need to have discussions with KCC, Swale Borough Council and government funded agencies like Job Centre Plus and the voluntary sector to explore whether it is viable to use 12 Market Place for this function. A deliverable model that provides real cost benefits to local residents will deserve serious consideration by councillors.  

Option 4 - Continue its use as an community exhibition space

The ground floor of 12 Market Place has been in near constant use as an exhibition centre over the last couple of years. The events monitoring visitor numbers recorded in excess of 16,000 people across the last year. There were many occasions where attendees were not counted. The space has been used to present a wide variety of things:

  • Open House 
  • Medieval Faversham 
  • Photography exhibitions
Drawing people into the Town Centre has several benefits besides the obvious cultural and educational benefits. Firstly, it contributes to a sense of community, providing a place where people can engage with others, often outside their usual circles. Secondly, increasing footfall helps support the independent shops and market traders. Finally, there have been exhibitions, such as ‘Cleve Hill’, which provides insight in to potential changes to our local environment; providing the community a chance to engage in our ever developing Town. 

Public Consultation

Have your say at the Public Consultation Meeting on Thursday 7th November at 7.30pm at 12 Market Place



Faversham Magna Carta Legacy




The Doddington Library

Work is currently underway to re-home The Doddington Parochial Library in the Reading Room at 12 Market Place.  This is a unique collection, founded under the will of the late Reverend Daniel Somerscales, with volumes dating from 1501 to the 1750's.  It is one of the few ancient libraries of this kind to have survived and consists of around 400 volumes, with mainly theological works but including 17th and 18th Century additions of medical, natural history and geographical texts.  

The books will be made available to researchers and local people in the Reading Room by appointment.  Full details coming soon.

Photo Gallery





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