A new music video has been produced to support an ongoing campaign to reopen public rooms in Ramsgate’s Grade II Granville Hotel.
The project’s ambition is for part of the building to re-open in 2021 as a new community space. The space has been closed to the public for some 30 years.
The building was designed by Edward Welby Pugin and opened to the public in 1869. It closed as a hotel in 1946 with the hotel rooms converted into self-contained flats.
The public rooms, including a banqueting hall, still retain many of their original features. These rooms eventually became a bar which closed in 1991.
Thanks to a grant from Arts Council England, community interest company Heritage Lab CIC commissioned a group of internationally renowned local artists to produce the video about the history and memories of the Granville Hotel.
The aim is for it to support the bid to set up a new creative centre for Ramsgate. Heritage Lab wants to open the Pugin Studios in the Spring of 2021.
The idea behind the film called “I remember you as you were” is to invite people into the derelict heritage space and respect the past while also opening up thoughts about how it might be used in the future.
Helga Dorothea, the filmmaker behind the project said: “As a remembrance piece, it’s an artwork that will touch and inspire people to be part of the future of the space. It’s a love letter of sorts to the Granville Hotel’s past history and to the beauty which is its promise and heritage.
“We hope the film will transport the viewer to a very different time and place whilst evoking the future visions of what The Granville could be.”
The team also included composer and singer Donna Mckevitt, poet Jan Noble and collage artist Sophia Schorr-Kon.
Working on such an ambitious project during lockdown brought a number of difficulties. The team initially had fears over the challenge of not being able to meet up or work with collaborators but those concerns were quickly brushed away.
Helga said: “In these strange times I think we all enjoyed working, being creative and focusing on something else. The fact that it is local gives the work another interest and urgency. We all have a real vision and dream to see the Granville Hotel come to life again.”
Earlier this year Heritage Lab launched a project to save the public rooms in Pugin’s Grade II listed Granville Hotel and create refurbished spaces for exhibitions, community events and conferences.
Heritage Lab says it has a legal agreement with the owner to buy the 999-year leasehold and needs to raise just under £500,000 to complete the deal.
Rob Kenyon, CEO and founder of Heritage Lab CIC, said: “Like so many others, our work has not been immune to the enormous impact that COVID has placed on the creative and heritage sector. We’ve had amazing support from our volunteers, partners and members and we believe that our curiously creative projects can play a really important part in supporting local creative entrepreneurs recover from COVID.
“We hope that this beautiful film and composition will remind people of the amazing talent we have locally and support our bid to open Pugin Studios at the Granville Hotel.”
Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “Ramsgate has strong potential to be an important creative hub for the region and so we’re very pleased to support Heritage Lab’s work. Covid-19 has had a significant impact across all sectors, but particularly arts and culture. It’s wonderful to see Heritage Lab continuing to make creative work during this time and using it to inspire people and illustrate Ramsgate’s creative potential.”
“I remember you as you were” and updates on the project are on the Heritage Lab website at https://heritagelab.org.uk