Ramsgate ‘model high street’ to be created as part of Twin Towns project with Historic England

Ramsgate model village used to stand on the West Cliff Photo via thanetonline

By Dan Thompson

A Ramsgate project is part of a new national programme looking at the past and future of our High Streets.

Public art and design studio Mooch will ask people in Ramsgate, and also in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, to create miniature models of high street buildings due to be regenerated and imagine what might fill them as part of the ‘twin towns’ project.

The Connect project is one of the first in a four-year-long national programme led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Over this summer Historic England will unofficially “twin” five sets of towns, through the programme which aims to explore themes of identity as well as the communities’ collective hopes and challenges, culminating in a series of installations, performances and digital work.

The new artworks – including Our Model High Street of Ramsgate and Ryde buildings – will also be considered for submission into the Historic England Archive, the nation’s archive for records of England’s historic buildings, archaeology and social history.

Mooch’s Creative Director Theresa Smith said: “Our Model High Street will link the seaside resort towns of Ramsgate and Ryde on the Isle of Wight. The project will create scaled versions of key buildings in both high streets and invite residents to re-imagine and design them for display in an exhibition over the Summer season.

“Participants and visitors to the displays can study and appreciate the characteristics of the two towns. Mooch is delighted to be working on this project with Dan Thompson, artist, writer and founder of the Empty Shops Network.”

The £7.4 million Cultural Programme is part of the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zone initiative, which is currently working across 68 English high streets. Ramsgate is home to not one, but two Heritage Action Zones.

The programme is funded with £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund, £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Streets Fund, and a further £3 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

For more information, and to find out how to get involved in the project, visit www.mooch.co.

Photos: The model village that thrilled visitors to Ramsgate’s West Cliff

Remembering the days when Cliftonville had a model village


    • Yes, that’s wher all the money goes and then there is none left for actual change.If we had all the money that has been spent on ideas,consultations etc for Manston there would be something done. Whatever it was it would be better than what’s there at present.

  1. It’s clear from reading local e-newspapers that there is a lot of interest in local history. This project sounds as if it could be a lot of fun- I don’t know what people are complaining about.

  2. i notice another ” arts centre ” in the form of an old shipwrecked barge dumped in the inner harbour , ( i bet the seller could not believe his luck ! ) and i was thinking instead of trying to renovate this wreck – why not leave it as it is , it will match in lovely with the rest of the town , derelict – boarded up – empty- and generally depressed .

  3. Let’s be positive please! This project has been selected as part of a national project. If motivated, talented people hadn’t applied Ramagate would’ve lost out. The decline of the High Street is a serious and fiendishly complicated issue, it impacts us all. Engaging the public is a good opportunity to share ideas and knowledge. Come on, let’s try to work together to build a better and fairer Ramsgate.

  4. Great to see all the local small minds out in force… If you actually READ (and understand) the article it’s a project about reconnecting people with the history of their high street, restoring a sense of identity and getting people to care. It’s not about consultants, architects and their models… Get enough people to care and things change, but no, as ever the nay sayers of this fine old town are out to trash anything new & positive, perhaps we should hand our heritage action zone status (and funding) to another town who get it and can make use of it, while we let our town go backwards like some of its inhabitants…I dispair, I really do

  5. I have great confidence in the integrity of Mooch and its art work. I am happy to support this project and will enjoy the opportunity to visit Ryde on the Isle of Wight too!

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