Thanet, Isle of, former island forming the NE portion of Kent, SE England, bounded by the North Sea and branches of the Stour River. The isle was occupied by the Romans, who had a fort guarding the Wantsum, the channel that once separated the isle from the mainland. Silting and land reclamation have since joined the isle to the mainland. The surface is generally low, but cliffs form part of the shores. Most of the towns, which include Ramsgate, Margate, and Broadstairs and Saint Peter's, are seaside resorts.
Thanet District

Shown within Kent
Status: District
Region: South East England
Admin. County: Kent
- Total
Ranked 241st
103.30 km²
Admin. HQ: Margate
ONS code: 29UN Area Code 01843
- Total ()
- Density

/ km²
Ethnicity: 95.4% White
1.5% S.Asian
1.1% Black
1.1% Mixed Race
Thanet District Council
Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
MPs: Roger Gale, Stephen Ladyman

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 south 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 7000 years ago and separated from the mainland by the Wantsum Channel, it has always borne the brunt of invasions from the Continent. A Thanet Rural District had existed from 1894, with the Local Government Act of the time 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 Conservative majority, who hold 33 seats, compared to the 19 seats held by Labour, who are the second party..

There are two MPs for Thanet:

The names of the civil parishes located in the district are:

Broadstairs and St Peter's are served jointly by a town council.

The towns of Margate and Ramsgate are unparished areas: they both have charters, having been municipal boroughs before 1974. A Parish Review being carried out by the District Council is considering whether Ramsgate should have a parish council. At present the town is represented by councillors serving seven wards.


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. 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 Lions Club , in common with all others such clubs, assists with projects in the town.

Among plans being considered there are: an arts centre in Margate (the Turner Gallery; and a new community centre for Broadstairs. Redevelopment and renovations are to be undertaken at Margate (a Heritage Amusement Park); Cliftonville (Lido site); and Monkton (hotel)

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, should be completed by 2009 . 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 per year with green energy. The project will thus make a significant contribution to the Government’s national and regional renewable energy targets. Thanet Earth will see the largest greenhouse development in the UK covering an area of 91 hectares with 7 greenhouses each the size of 7 football pitches .

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.


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 will begin in December 2009, and 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 at Manston, formerly RAF Manston, but since renamed by its commercial operators as Kent International Airport. Because it was used as an U.S. airbase during the second world war, it has one of the longest runways in the UK, and is designated by the United Nations as an emergency landing site for aircraft in trouble.

Ferry services (predominantly freight and car with passengers) are operated by Transeuropa ferries to the Continent from Port Ramsgate.


Thanet has a large hospital: the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, known as the QEQM. It is at present (2008) being extended.


Local newspapers are the Thanet Extra, part of the Kent Messenger group, Thanet Adscene, Isle of Thanet Gazette and Thanet Times, all owned by Trinity Mirror. The area is also covered by three Kent on Sunday, KOS titles on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday Your Thanet. Local radio stations are Kmfm previously known as (Thanet Local Radio) owned by Kent Messenger group, the county-wide Invicta FM, and BBC Radio Kent. National TV stations carry regional news: ITV1 service is provided currently by Meridian broadcasting; and the BBC South East Today.

Notable people from Thanet

The fact of Thanet's long-held tourist attraction has led many people from all walks of life to have had some connection with the District, over the past two hundred years.


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