Thanet // is a local government district of Kent, England, which was formed under the Local Government Act 1972, and came into being on 1 April 1974. The Isle of Thanet makes up the major part of the District.
The district, which is governed by Thanet District Council, is located on the north eastern tip of Kent, and is predominantly coastal, with north, east and southeast facing coastlines. It is bordered by the City of Canterbury district to the west, and the Dover district to the south. The main towns in the district are Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs.
The Isle of Thanet is the major part of the Thanet District. Formed over 7,000 years ago and separated from the mainland by the Wantsum Channel, it has always borne the brunt of invasions from the Continent. An Isle of Thanet Rural District had existed from the Local Government Act 1894 until it was abolished in 1935 to form part of Eastry Rural District. The current District was formed in 1974, by the addition of the area over which was once the Wantsum Channel, including the settlement of Sarre.
The current District is held by a UKIP majority, who hold 25 seats, compared to the 21 seats held by the Conservatives, who are the second party. On 24 July 2017 however, Councillor Beverly Martin left UKIP to join the Conservative Party, ending the former's majority in the District..
There are two MPs for Thanet:
The names of the civil parishes located in the district are:
In 2005 the estimated population of the District stood at 128,100.
The whole district suffers from seasonal unemployment, in spite of its proximity to London, because of various factors, among them being inward migration, high numbers of old people, and low numbers of affluent people. It is not helped by poor overall indicators for health. In a study of resilience to economic downturns, Thanet was poorly rated at 295th out of 324 districts. Unemployment levels are nearly twice the South East of England as a whole, and as a result a great deal of planning is being done to encourage more businesses to relocate to the District. The Thanet & East Kent Chamber produces a weekly business digest, the Thanet & East Kent Insider, which reports on economic activity in the private and public sectors.
New projects underway include: A new community centre for Broadstairs. Redevelopment and renovations are to be undertaken at Margate's Dreamland (a Heritage Amusement Park); Cliftonville (Lido site); and a Holiday Inn (hotel), now open. A large retail and residential development on Ramsgate seafront, known as Royal Sands, started construction in 2011 but was quickly halted. A multimillion-pound art gallery The Turner Contemporary (opened by Tracey Emin in April 2011) in Margate and this has created the opening of many new shops in the Margate old town and visitor numbers have far exceeded expectation. Margate has been chosen as a Mary Portas retail town. Massive[clarification needed] investment and building work is taking place in schools across the island.
In addition, the District Council has introduced an empty property initiative and has compulsory purchased empty and derelict buildings with the objective of bringing them back into use.
The Thanet Offshore Wind Project, near North Foreland, began operating in September 2010. The project is expected to have a total capacity of up to 300 MW which, on average, is sufficient to supply approximately 240,000 homes with green energy. The project will thus make a significant contribution to the government’s national and regional renewable energy targets. Thanet Earth is the largest greenhouse development in the UK, covering an area of 91 hectares with 7 greenhouses each the size of 10 football pitches producing cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers all year. The project has been very successful and is currently being expanded (Autumn 2012).
Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs each have shopping centres with a mix of local and national retailers complemented by Northdown Road, Cliftonville, Westgate and Birchington. Westwood at the centre of Thanet has seen much major development in recent years with the building of Westwood Cross shopping centre which is the home of national retailers and several restaurant chains including a Travelodge hotel. Associated development has taken place around the shopping centre spawning other retail parks. National retailer Primark opened a new superstore in October 2012, the largest Primark store in Kent.
The rail connections are via the Chatham Main Line through Margate to Ramsgate, and the Ashford to Ramsgate (via Canterbury West) line. New high-speed rail links from London to Thanet began in December 2009, and it is now possible to travel from Margate to St Pancras railway station at an average speed of 96 kmh (around 60 mph); maximum speed of 225 km/h (around 140 mph). This will form part of the UK's first true high-speed commuter service, according to the South Eastern Railway Company. Main road links are the A28 which brings traffic from Canterbury and Ashford; and the A299, north coast route. The Saxon Shore Way Long distance footpath skirts the coast.
There is an airport, now closed, at Manston, formerly RAF Manston, but later renamed by its commercial operators as Kent International Airport. The airport closed permanently on 15 May 2014. Because it was used as a U.S. airbase during the Second World War it has one of the longest runways in the UK, and while open it was designated by the United Nations as an emergency landing site for aircraft in trouble.
Ferry services are no longer running from the Port of Ramsgate, and the council is currently in dispute with the former operators over the payment of £3.3 million
Thanet has a large hospital: the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, known as the QEQM. Extension work which started in 2007 has made the QEQM a major hospital site.
As of July 2010, overall indicators of health are poor for Thanet:
Local newspapers are the Thanet Extra, part of the KM Group; Isle of Thanet Gazette and Thanet Times (merged with Adscene, October 2009), (the Thanet Times was withdrawn in October 2012) all owned by Northcliffe Media; and the midweek Your Thanet published online by KOS Media. The county-wide newspapers Kent on Saturday and Kent on Sunday also serve the district.
Local radio stations are;
Thanet also has a local online radio and podcasting service currently operating online only known as 'Thanet Community Radio' (TCR). The station works closely with Dover-based 'Dover Community Radio' (DCR) which operates in a similar way.
Thanet has a wide variety of local schools including approximately 41 primary schools such as Drapers Mills, Palm Bay, and Upton. Outstanding secondary schools include Dane Court Grammar, and Chatham and Clarendon Grammar. The community learning within the district is varied and wide, including charitable training organisations such as East Kent ITeC Ltd, and organisations such as Margate Adult Education Centre, Thanet Skills Studio and Thanet Stage School. East Kent College is a provider of further education in Thanet and a Training Provider that works with local businesses to raise the level of education across the region. Canterbury Christ Church University currently has a campus in Broadstairs, serving Media, Art and Design subjects.
Thanet enjoys a maritime climate, being surrounded on three sides by the sea. This generally results in mild winters and warm, dry summers.