Margate Caves were closed in 2004 and Thanet District Council (TDC), which owned the site, commissioned a structural survey in 2005 and a detailed report was produced on the condition of the caves. In 2010 TDC filed a planning application for housing on the site. Faced with strong public opposition this proposal was delayed to allow local people to pursue options for saving this historical site and the caves for public benefit.
The Friends of Margate Caves campaign group was created in early 2011, to get the caves re-opened as a tourist attraction and to prevent development on the site that would prevent such use.
The Friends of Margate Caves (FOMC) is a formally constituted community group, recognised by the Council, to develop, pursue and implement a plan to reopen the Caves as a viable concern that would be of public benefit. FOMC commissioned an Options Appraisal for the site and worked with a consultant to develop a first stage business plan. One of the recommendations was that the governance structure needed to be more robust to manage such a project and deliver the public benefit objectives of the group.
Subsequently in November 2013 The Margate Caves Community Education Trust (TMCCET) was formed and registered with the Charity Commission as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
Today, FOMC exists to raise funds to support the work of TMCCET.