The Granville Theatre in Ramsgate has been listed as an asset of community value.
The application was made in July by Rob Kenyon, chef executive of Heritage Lab CIC. And accepted in October.
The Granville Theatre in Victoria Parade is the town’s only multi-purpose entertainment venue. It takes its name from The Granville Hotel. The building is leased from Thanet District Council.
The old Granville Pavilion was damaged beyond repair in World War Two and was demolished.). The New Granville Theatre, as it was originally known, was designed by architect Mr W. Garwood at a cost of £13,100 and every usable brick from the old building was brought back into use, with new blocks being made in the town. The theatre was declared open by the Mayor of Ramsgate Alderman Austin in June 1947.
The theatre’s patron is actress Brenda Blethyn.
In a statement from Heritage Lab it says: “The Granville represents the last remaining publicly owned performance space in Ramsgate. We have heard a number of conflicting stories about the potential viability of the building and its future.
“One of the best ways to give the building some protection, and to provide the community with some time to decide if it wants to try to acquire the building in future is to have it registered as an Asset of Community Value.
“To our surprise no-one had applied to protect it, so we applied to Thanet District Council in July for it to be given this legal protection.”
Mr Kenyon added: “We are working with community groups and local organisations to protect and restore Ramsgate‘s our wonderful historic buildings and help our creative industries to thrive.
“We’re delighted that TDC has accepted our application to protect the Granville Theatre and Cinema as an asset of community value.”
The owner of an asset of community value must inform the local authority if they wish to sell. If a group wants to buy the asset, they can trigger a moratorium for six months, to give them a chance to raise the money to purchase the site.
The owner does not have to sell to a community group, the asset of community value listing only improves the chances of community groups being able to purchase by providing more time to raise funds. It does not require the owner to sell at a discount
The listing of a property as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ lasts for five years after which it is automatically delisted and the restrictions imposed by the covenant are removed.
Heritage Lab has spoken to community groups and members of the public and met with the leaseholder.
The next steps, for when the current owner retires, are yet to be decided but Mr Kenyon said: “Anyone interested in finding out more or getting involved with our work can become a member here http://heritagelab.org.