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Client

Margate Caves Community Education Trust

Location

Margate, Kent

Sector

Community

Services

Project Management
Quantity Surveying

Value

£930,000

Margate Caves has long been a treasured attraction for people near and far, offering a unique experience for all ages. Unfortunately, they were closed to the public in 2004 after they were deemed unsafe for visitors and a prohibition notice served by the HSE.

The Margate Caves Community Education Trust, developed from the Friends of Margate Caves community and campaign group, formed in 2011 with the purpose of reopening the caves as a tourist and educational attraction.

A new visitors centre was designed to sit above the caves along with a new access way giving visitors safe passage into the caves. By 2016, the Trust managed to raise funds from the Heritage and Big Lottery funds to secure the restoration of the caves and provide a new visitors centre and community hub.

During the construction and restoration period, the project was subject to the building regulations above ground and mining regulations below ground. We worked alongside geotechnical engineers who stabilised the caves and made them safe for visitors. Once completed, a prohibition notice was lifted from the caves and was the longest serving notice in the country to be lifted.

The murals in the caves were restored by a local conservator, bringing them back to life. The new low energy building was constructed with steel frame and brick facade. The centre offers flexible spaces including a reception, cafe as well as education and meeting areas. The space is also used as a Village Hall for the local community and provides a new hub for the area.

The Centre opened to the public in August 2019 and has been very well received across the town. You can find out more about the project by visiting the Margate Caves website – margatecaves.co.uk

Prior to construction starting on the new building, volunteers undertook an archaeological dig of the site and continued to fundraise for the Trust.

During the construction and restoration period, the project was subject to the building regulations above ground and mining regulations below ground. We worked alongside geotechnical engineers who stabilised the caves and made them safe for visitors. Once completed, the prohibition notice was lifted from the caves and was the longest serving notice in the country to be lifted.

The new low energy building was constructed over the caves with steel frame and brick facade. The space includes a new staircase entrance down into the caves and offers flexible spaces housing a reception, cafe as well as education and meeting areas. The space will also be able to be used as a Village Hall for the local community and provides a new hub for the area.

The Centre opened to the public in August 2019.