Report claims Ramsgate creative sector pumping millions into local economy

Report launch: Rob Kenyon CEO and Founder, Heritage Lab CIC; Emma Wilcox, Director, Creative Estuary; Hedley Swain, Area Director, Arts Council England; Professor Mike Weed, Pro Vice Chancellor, Canterbury Christ Church University; Jo Rossi and Anita Glover, Locate in Kent

Ramsgate is helping to contribute in excess of £165million to the UK economy through creative individuals and enterprises, according to a new report.

An analysis of the economic impact of Ramsgate’s creative sector says the town’s cultural renaissance is having a huge impact not only on the local economy but also on the rest of the UK.

Heritage Lab CIC and Canterbury Christ Church University worked in partnership on the Economic Impact report with funding from Locate in Kent and Arts Council England.

Building on their previous research published in November 2019 they say Ramsgate is fast becoming a major cultural hub.

Key findings include:

  • There are approximately 233 creative enterprises in Ramsgate
  • Ramsgate’s creative sector adds around £85million to the local economy each year;
  • Creative individuals living in Ramsgate add around £165million to the UK economy;
  • There are 1,491 people living in Ramsgate working in the UK wide creative sector;
  • There are approximately 871 people living in Ramsgate and working in the local creative sector;
  • The survey conducted by Heritage Lab CIC and Canterbury Christ Church University in 2019 reached 228 of these or around 1 in 6 of those working in the sector.

The results of the research, completed by the University in January 2020, illustrate the growing appeal of the South East to the creative industries – identified by Whitehall as a key priority for the UK’s future economic growth. Contributing factors include the town’s connectivity to London, lower property prices, the area’s rich heritage, a growing talent pool and vibrant cultural scene.

Heritage Lab CIC says it aims to bring heritage buildings and community assets across the town back into sustainable use and create community and workspaces and jobs for the area.

The report was launched at an event in Ramsgate last week.

Rob Kenyon, CEO and Founder, Heritage Lab CIC, said: “It is clear from this report that our diverse and growing creative sector is putting Ramsgate well and truly on the map and we aim to help the sector to thrive by regenerating some of Ramsgate’s amazing heritage buildings.”

Professor Mike Weed, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “This report is the first of its kind to show the impact of the creative and digital economy in Ramsgate. Building on our report in 2019 it shows that the Ramsgate creative sector is not only making a great impact on the town but also adds significant growth to the regional and UK economy.

“We are committed to working with our local communities to support the growth for our regional economy. Working with Heritage Lab CIC this project has helped to identify Ramsgate’s current position and its potential within the creative industries in Kent and the Thames Estuary Production Corridor.”

Kent County Council analysis

According to a creative industries report published by Kent County Council in December creative industries account for 1.6% of employee jobs in Kent compared to 2.3% in England (based on 2018 data).

IT, software and computer services make up the highest proportion of creative enterprises in Kent (48.2%).

Music, performing and visual arts make up the second largest proportion in Kent with 14.4% of creative employee jobs in this category. Kent has a higher proportion of employee jobs in architecture, design, publishing, music, performing and visual arts and museums than the national average.

Kent had an estimated 6,535 creative enterprises as at March 2019 although they account for a lower proportion (10.4%) of total enterprises in the area than the national average. Creative enterprises have increased by 28.4% in Kent over the last five years, a bigger increase than nationally

This data says the number of Thanet creative businesses last year was 350 up from 150 in 2014, the second largest rise across Kent and Medway with Dartford seeing the greatest growth. The data shows 340 of the Thanet enterprises as micro businesses with 9 or less employees.

METHOD: The Ramsgate economy report used data from the Creative Ramsgate report, together with government data on the value of the creative industries and the size and value of small and medium enterprises, to estimate the number of businesses, the size of the workforce, and the gross value added that Ramsgate generates for the creative economy, locally and across the UK. 


  1. Would be more if thanet council allowed street artists to perform their talents in town centres as in Canterbury and London

  2. This is great news, pity it will all be destroyed if Manston reopens, and low flying cargo jet aircraft are allowed to fly over Ramsgate harbour at 300 meters height, the town at 250/200 meters, and St Lawrence/Nethercourt at 100 meters, twice an hour day and night!

  3. This is great news. I’ve always thought that when it comes to the Arts Ramsgate stands head and shoulders above Margate.

  4. What a load of absolute rubbish.
    Let’s hope they also don’t want to park in/near the town, Thanet Council will put a stop to that with the parking charges.

    • “Ramsgate is helping to contribute in excess of £165million to the UK economy through creative individuals and enterprises” is a load of absolute rubbish?
      What a strange point of view.

Comments are closed.