Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Margate Portas High Street Shock - TV company gags Traders ?




My knowledge of Mary Portas is limited, informed by some vague idea and media babble of a shopping guru who has collared government approval as a retail expert.

Apparently hidden in the ballyhoo, of regeneration of Margate High St, is the bane of modern TV, the reality TV show, according to a report by Retail Week, and also mentioned on the Margate Town Team Facebook site, Optomen TV, will be making a documentary for Channel four.

The Margate Town Team are not surprisingly wondering whether they will be able to participate in the government backed scheme, as I guess Mary Portas will be accompanied by a TV crew referring to the Channel Four Doc they have this to say on their Facebook page "but we're confused and concerned about the involvement of the TV production company, especially the overly-restrictive contracts which seem to want to quash and silence the public involvement and discourse which has been so effective and essential (and encouraged!) to date.

We can't escape the inevitable conclusion that the desires of a tv production company are being placed above the needs of a community in transition. 

I must say that few things surprise me the idea that a government regeneration is to be a reality TV show/documentary is a new departure.

Here's what I do with the governments, hundred grand, to make Margate High Street busy, fund scratch cards  to be given to traders, to hand out with change after every purchase over a fiver, give fifty grand away this and next year, wallop crowds, also tell Channel Four to stick their documentary somewhere else.

13 comments:

  1. £100k isn't enough to do much. The value of this award is not in the cash - it's in the publicity. The cynicism and backbiting by the usual faces has got us into this mess. That way doesn't work. We need to grab all the free publicity we can and present a united front of a welcoming and vibrant town. Please let's be positive!

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    1. I couldn't agree more. A 100K is a drop in the ocean and will be used to e build business's to small traders. We need the publicity, good and the bad as Mary Portas so eloquently put it, to bring in bigger investors.

      As for the lottery comment, you have to ask yourself what sort of trade do you want to attract to the area?

      Margate can be great again but it needs everyones input.

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    2. Any trade would do, and lets think we are not wholly dependent of Mary Portas, the old town has been much improve with out her so far.

      Im sure she has a lot more to offer than the gagging order of some TV production company.

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  2. I dont think anybody is going to spend £20 in petrol, pay to park or spend upwards of £40 to bring a family by rail to Margate, then spend over a fiver with the chance of winning £50K when there are other cheaper and more lucrative lotteries around. Try again Tony such as use the £100k as a parking subsidy.

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    1. It was a throwaway idea, still the point would be to maybe give away small but not insignificant amounts, a thousand roughly a week could be split up into 10 x £100 prizes or 40 x £25, do the math.

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  3. It's a shame that Cliftonville is forgotten yet again, and seems to be feeling absolute no benefit of the Turner effect. How about a bit of rebranding, calling the area "Margate and Cliftonville" (as in "Brighton and Hove")? That way visitors will at least be aware that there's more to be seen just around the corner, even if (like The Lido and The Caves) much of it has disappeared or is in an advanced stage of decay!

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  4. Yes a hundred grand is not much especially when £90,000 of it is to be spent on a regeneration consultant post.

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    1. Surely not, yogi, in fairness there is nothing wrong with consultants, but we've had them, and they've not done a bad job, however all the publicity means jack if there is not product, the money if it hasn't gone down the Swanee, needs to be spent giving the public a reason to visit, events - improving the street - giving people a reason to visit.

      Still lets not forget the Old town is much better shape than it used to be, and this was achieved with channel four or Mary Portas

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  5. Correction Tony....not regeneration consultant but "director of corporate services and transformation"

    A gravy train by any other name.....

    I don't agree that there is nothing wrong with consultants. When KCC was looking at ways of cutting library services it spent 130,000 pounds on consultants that could have been spent on the service. You don't need a consultant to tell you what's wrong with the high street and Thanet generally.
    Too much empire building going on.

    Do you mean it was achieved with channel 4 or without?
    The Old town was already on its way to success wasn't it? Turner Contemporary?

    It's the rest of the town that needs regenerating.

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  6. I won't say where I am from but we had a visit before the Portas Pilot results came out from someone pretending to be a Guardian journalist (we found him on facebook and he was actually a reality-TV producer)and we are almost sure we did NOT win the money because we could not supply him with the "whacky characters" that he kept asking to be shown as I was taking him round. So it seems that TV plotlines are now deciding who gets government money....
    Good luck Margate and use the publicity and the money the best you can - the pain of being made to look inept by the Portas-formula-TV-show will soon pass but the publicity will live on.

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