A heritage scheme in Ramsgate aimed at attracting investment and creating apprenticeships is now fully underway after the appointment of a programme manager.
The Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) programme was announced in March. The town was one of 10 chosen in a new nationwide scheme from Historic England which will provide an estimated £400,000 to the project over five years, to be matched by £10,000 a year from Ramsgate Town Council.
The scheme will also boost tourism and involve schools and the community in exhibitions and heritage-related skills training. Historic England will be working with Thanet District Council to carry out urgent work to preserve vacant or partially occupied listed buildings in the town.
The project runs in partnership with Thanet District Council, Ramsgate Coastal Community Team, Ramsgate Town Council and The Ramsgate Society.
Louisa Hrabowy, whose expertise includes delivering international development projects, has been appointed to finalise the HAZ delivery plan, co-ordinate its programme and raise awareness of the role heritage plays in supporting regeneration.
Her remit also extends to partnership working with stakeholders to deliver projects aimed at engaging the local community with Ramsgate’s rich heritage and maritime history.
Louisa will split her time working across both the Ramsgate Town Council and Thanet District Council offices.
Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Enterprise Services, Cllr Hunter Stummer-Schmertzing, said: ‘We’re delighted that Louisa has joined the Heritage Action Zone team. Louisa has a wealth of skills and project management experience that will enable her to build links across the community and co-ordinate the ambitious programme of projects.
“We’re confident that, under her leadership, we will raise awareness of Ramsgate’s unique heritage and its role in economic growth and regeneration.”
Martin Small, Principal Historic Environment Planner, Historic England, added: “Historic England is delighted to be fully funding the programme manager post and we are excited that Louisa has joined the Ramsgate HAZ Programme Partnership.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to now engage more widely with the community to increase awareness and appreciation of the rich heritage of Ramsgate together with partners from Thanet District Council, The Coastal Communities Team, Ramsgate Town Council and the Ramsgate Society. We wish Louisa all the best in her new post and look forward to working with her to capitalise on Ramsgate’s outstanding heritage and to help strengthen the local economy.”
Louisa’s career background spans 12 years working on international development projects with the Department for International Development, which led her to postings in Brussels, Poland and South Africa.
She has also worked with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the UK Cultural Protection Fund and the Great Exhibition of the North and holds a Masters (Distinction) in Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy from Goldsmiths University.
Heritage Action Zones: Where and What are they?
Ramsgate joins Appleby in Cumbria, Coventry in the West Midlands, Elsecar in South Yorkshire, Hull in East Yorkshire, King’s Lynn in North Norfolk, Nottingham in the East Midlands, Sunderland in Tyne and Wear, Sutton in South London and Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, which have all been selected as Heritage Action Zones.
Heritage Action Zones will unleash the power in England’s historic environment to create economic growth and improve quality of life in villages, towns and cities.
Working with local people and partners, Historic England will unlock potential in the HAZ areas and make them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. This will be done with joint-working, grant funding and sharing skills.
Historic buildings that have deteriorated through decades of neglect will be restored and put back into use; conservation areas improved to kick-start regeneration and renewal; and unsung places will be recognised and celebrated for their unique character and heritage.