An investment plan is to be created for Ramsgate .
Thanet council is due to launch its Ramsgate Future scheme which aims to generate and take forward ideas for the town’s development over the next few years.
‘Ramsgate Future’ will build upon existing and upcoming schemes, including the recent allocation of £2.7m from the government’s Future High Street fund. This scheme is to enable the delivery of regeneration plans and new local projects such as improvements to transport infrastructure, new homes and the transformation of underused spaces. It is understood much of this grant will be used on highways projects. The grant is still provisional and is only a percentage of the amount Thanet council bid for.
The fund runs alongside the five-year, £450,000 Heritage Action Zone(s) scheme which launched in 2017. It was announced that the scheme was to attract new investment into Ramsgate and create apprenticeships, boost tourism and involve schools and the community in exhibitions and heritage-related skills training.
There are also plans for the Port as part of a feasibility study which examined possible future uses for the site including reviving the hotel and conference centre plan for the Smack Boys Home building and creating industrial zones, waterfront homes, retail and themed leisure facilities.
Thanet council says the aim is to bring all the schemes together to help transform the town. It is hoped this could also help leverage future funding opportunities.
The scheme, which will include engagement with residents from all seven Ramsgate wards, will be similar to the Margate Town Deal which has just put forward a 10-year plan and bid for more than £25million to central government.
However, more funding would have to be sought for a similar Ramsgate plan.
Thanet council leader Cllr Rick Everitt, said: “Ramsgate belongs to all its residents and we want to put them at the heart of planning for the town’s future. The reopening of the Victoria Pavilion in recent years and now the Royal Sands development on the Pleasurama site have been a great start, but we know there is a huge appetite in the community to make Ramsgate an even better place, to live, work and spend leisure time.
“There are already improvements planned via the Future High Streets fund and the Heritage Action Zone initiative, but we want to find ways to do more.
“Last year’s port and harbour feasibility study has provided valuable feedback, but rather than look at that area in isolation we want to identify the opportunities across the town, including making better use of a number of assets that the council already owns.
“That will only succeed however if we can work in partnership with the community, capitalising on Ramsgate’s maritime history and working up ideas that the public supports.
“It won’t be one grand scheme, but a series of initiatives that can be brought forward as and when we can identify external funding. However, we are confident that there will be some improvements that we can make quickly and which will help build public confidence.
“We would love to be able to create a major visitor experience that would bring people into town all year round and help support the whole Ramsgate and Thanet economy. That may be ambitious, but it is right that we should be aiming high for Ramsgate.”
The council is working on a brief and will be engaging specialist services to carry out community engagement to help create the investment plan for the town.