Beach schools, sea-themed playgrounds, a fish market and water sports adventure park are just some of the proposals for Ramsgate revealed at a public meeting last night (April 21).
The Port Ramsgate Maritime Village proposals will form part of Thanet council’s Local Plan – a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure up to 2031 for the isle.
The Ramsgate maritime report, which is due to be published in the Autumn, is the work of community group Wish You Were Here.
The launch, at Archive in Military Road, was headed by Councillor Bev Martin and resident Helene Whitehall.
Cllr Martin told the meeting: “I was invited by (council leader) Chris Wells to work up a report in response to the Local Plan, working with the community.”
Cllr Martin said she was concerned that the Local Plan appears to earmark Ramsgate for construction and industrialisation, particularly at the port.
She said: “What have we got at the Port of Ramsgate? A ferry that isn’t there and a concrete factory. So, I have concerns about what else we could do with that port in our beautiful town and with our wonderful coastline.”
Cllr Martin and Ms Whitehall, a film and documentary director, put together the report after examining the tourism attractions and economic viability of other towns in the UK.
One area looked at was Plymouth which has an aquarium which attracts 300,000 visitors a year.
Newquay, with its development of surf pods, beach shops, apartments and a boutique hotel was another area that came under scrutiny.
The maritime village plan proposes to split Ramsgate into zones – the western area would be a maritime protection zone forming an extension to Pegwell, the middle area would reflect the Georgian and Victorian architecture of the town and the eastern side would be a contemporary area.
Ms Whitehall said: “What we have been working on is a holistic, multi-generational approach to raise aspirations, health and help the cash-flow of local businesses.”
Ms Whitehall suggested funding should come from multiple areas rather than relying on one source, suggesting council, government and private investor revenues.
Maritime Protection Zone
Focussing on planting and marine life
Areas for different ages spanning the upper and lower proms
Beach huts for hire
A range of artistic huts that will also those wanting backdrops for film and fashion shoots
High revenues in the Summer season
Water sports and adventure centre
Wind surfs for hire, possibly based on the Mote Park in Maidstone business model.
Outdoor gym, beach yoga and cycle paths
Outdoor gym equipment the length of the seafront which would be free to use. A cycle path that goes to Ramsgate train station so commuters can follow it as soon as they arrive.
It was suggested the theme could also encourage juice bars and gym equipmewnt shops to spring up.
Public works of art and sculpture trail
Port maritime village
Cafes, shops, fish market, restaurants for an area of the port and a bigger focus on boat building and maintainance
Day trip boats
Cruise passengers to be brought to Ramsgate on day trip boats so they can explore the town and attracations. Paddlesteam boat trips were also suggested.
Arts and crafts workshops at the port
With a focus on conservation and protection.
Forget Brexit – we want ‘Rexit’
Promoting the Ramsgate meantime. The town is 5 minutes and 41 seconds ahead of Greenwich meantime and has its own meridian line. RMT is the only local time in the country that was officially recognised by Greenwich.
The meeting heard of the scope this offers for tourism and merchandise.
Find out more about the plan and fill in the community survey here
Contact the maritime plan team on firstname.lastname@example.org