Successful £20m Levelling Up Fund bid by Folkestone & Hythe District Council

Updated 19.01.23 @ 17:20

Just four days ago we wrote about the Council’s £20m Levelling Up Fund bid. It was announced yesterday 18/01/2023, that the bid had been successful. The money is for:

A major overhaul of Folkstone’s town centre with £19.7 million to improve shopping areas, an upgraded bus station and a new public green space to encourage businesses and visitors into the area.

The £20m is great news for Folkestone

Katharine Harvey (pictured) Chief Economic Development Officer at Folkestone & Hythe District Council, and her team, have done an amazing job in getting the bid together in the short timeframe they had.

It just goes to show there are very competent officers in our Council, and it’s clear some of them reside in Mrs Harvey’s team.

The funding is for the three following projects:

The Folkestone – A Brighter Future scheme focuses on three key areas to improve Folkestone town centre which are outlined below.

1. Station Arrival and Town Centre Connections:

This element of the project aims to improve the links from the railway station for pedestrians and cyclists to encourage use of active travel and public transport and to improve connections for visitors and residents alike.

2. Improved Gateway to the Town Centre and Bouverie Square:

This component of the project will unlock transformational change around the town centre. The focus will be to reconfigure the main bus station in the town centre and implement changes to the legacy gyratory road system to the north.

The money will enable a sustainable, attractive and welcoming gateway to be created for Folkestone town centre with a green park replacing the bus station in Bouverie Square.

The exciting and ambitious project will see Shellons Street become two-way with bus stops and bays replacing the bus station. Better signage and obvious walking links will connect visitors to a greener, more vibrant Sandgate Road and Guildhall Street shopping area.

3. Folca, Sandgate Road and Town Centre Public Realm:

This element of the project will refurbish the Folca building (the former Debenhams building) into a ‘town lab’ which will encourage and bring new and experimental uses into the town centre. The phased refurbishment of this building will bring a currently redundant building back into use in the town centre and reactivate this part of the high street. It will also improve the public realm on Sandgate Road to encourage footfall in this area of the town centre.

The funding will also enable the second phase of Folca to be progressed by establishing new uses for the site, with an intended focus on public services, retail, leisure and business uses for the rejuvenated building.

Or you can watch the short video the Council have produced


This is good news for Folkestone, lets hope that the desired ambition of the proposed projects achieve the coveted outcomes, because Folkestone Town, is a wonderful town. It deserves much better than the decline we have all seen over the last four years.

The Shepway Vox Team

The Velvet Voices of Voxatiousness

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8 Comments on Successful £20m Levelling Up Fund bid by Folkestone & Hythe District Council

  1. Please, please, please, don’t let Monk get his grubby little hands on any of it.

  2. It’s fine to spend 19.7 million on a new shopping area but there are still people living on the streets of Folkestone, why isn’t more being done about the dire housing situation in our town.

  3. I think the Council officers involved with this bid should be congratulated for their hard work. The plans are well thought out and much needed to help regenerate Folkestone. It makes a change to be able to complement Council officers and I wish them every success in implementing their plans.

  4. Political decision to try and get the gullible to vote Conservative in the May elections.

  5. Cllr David Wimble // January 24, 2023 at 07:42 // Reply

    Once again this is factually incorrect. At the time of the bid Katherine Harvey was no longer working for F&HDC. This bid was made by the new lead Rod Lean. Please get your facts correct.

    • shepwayvox // January 25, 2023 at 08:21 // Reply

      Dear Cllr Wimble – thanks for the message. But just to inform you Mrs Harvey still works for the Council. Spreading misinformation as a Cllr is a breach of the seven principles of public life. But hey, you no need to work as Amandeep is going to do anything.

  6. Cllr David Wimble // January 26, 2023 at 14:58 // Reply

    Yes she does still work one day a week.

    Fact that this is my portfolio, I feel I should know what I’m talking about

    • shepwayvox // January 26, 2023 at 17:52 // Reply

      As you state: “I feel I should know what I am talking about”. We couldn’t agree more – But sometimes you don’t know what your talking about – here’s just a single example of many we could quote:

      Affinity Water dumping raw sewage of the beaches of Littlestone. On video for all to see and hear. You didn’t know what you were talking about.

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