Meeting rooms for youth groups and ‘Age Concern,’ art exhibition space and a new home for health eating organisation Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet were some of the suggested uses for the Effingham Street fire station in Ramsgate when crews move out.
At a meeting last night (January 7) residents and various group representatives aired ideas for the future of the building has been bought by Ramsgate Town Council thanks to money from a bequest.
The town council expects to be in the building by next month when fire crews move to a new £8million site at the former Ramsgate Swimming Pool.
The building consists of three floors – the ground area used for the fire engines, a second floor with a kitchen and the upper floor which is currently sleeping quarters
Ramsgate Town Council wants the building to be used by the community. Town clerk Richard Styles said: “For the first year ot two we will see how the building can be used and then adapt it accordingly.
“In order to keep the building going, whatever uses are made need for something to be put back so we have some money coming in. Community groups will need to make some commitment.
“Ramsgate should have a community centre, that is something that has been remiss for many years.”
The town council will use the yard space for their maintenance crews and there were some suggestions that storage could be offered.
Other ideas included linking up with Thanet Community Development Trust and Ralph Hoult, who wants space for a Ramsgate museum, or linking with youth organisations such as Charlton FC.
Councillor Peter Campbell said he would like to see small organisations get free usage while those using the venue for paid-for events should make a contribution.
Other suggestions were for business start-up space, copying and printing facilities and, from Mr Styles, proposals of linking up with Ramsgate Library to widen services on offer.
Mr Styles also suggested the current escape tower may be viable for a lift and additional storage space.
The town council will remain at its Custom House base although meetings might transfer to the new property. Mr Styles said this could free up space at the seafront site for new community use as well.
The Effingham Street station has been home to Ramsgate fire crews since 1905.
The property was originally a private house belonging to Rear Admiral William Fox which was converted by gutting the internals of the building and adding a new frontage.
Originally used for horse drawn steam fire pumps, it has had to garage a series of motorised fire pumps to the present day.
To register your suggestion: email: email@example.com
Or Write to: Richard Styles
Ramsgate Town Council,
Ramsgate, CT11 8LP.