A bid of up to £20 million for investment in Ramsgate will be made by Thanet District Council as part of its ambitions to regenerate the town.
Thanet has been identified as a priority one area in the Government’s Levelling Up Prospectus, announced in this week’s Budget. While the fund is open to every local area, it is especially intended to support investment in places where it can make the biggest difference to everyday life, including ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and coastal communities.
As a priority one area, the council is expected to receive an award of £125,000 capacity funding to support the process. Further details are expected soon.
If successful, the funding will need to be invested in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities. This could include urban regeneration projects, cultural assets and local transport schemes.
The Levelling Up Fund, which applies to the whole of the UK, brings together the Department for Transport, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Treasury to invest £4.8 billion in high value local infrastructure.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Rick Everitt said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to deliver an ambitious vision for Ramsgate, which is already the focus of our new ‘Ramsgate Future’ initiative. The initial funding will help us to accelerate what we were already planning in terms of community engagement. We want to be able to submit our proposal to government in June in order to meet the deadline for the first round of funding
“While the Government will have set criteria which we will need to meet, the principles of improving local infrastructure and enhancing economic prosperity absolutely align with our aspirations for the town. We will be contacting stakeholders, including the town council, to ensure we develop an exciting bid that has wide public support.
“Following the recent success of the £22.2m Margate Towns Fund, I am delighted that we have this early opportunity to bring forward a similar initiative for Ramsgate and I believe this can be a pivotal moment for Thanet as a whole.
“The Government has said it will prioritise bids that can demonstrate investment or begin delivery on the ground in the coming financial year so we will move quickly, but key to the success of the bid will be involving residents from all parts of Ramsgate and I am determined that that will happen.”
‘Ramsgate Future’ was recently announced by Cllr Everitt and aims to build upon existing and forthcoming schemes for the town. This is to ensure that activity such as the £2.7m Future High Street fund, the Heritage Action Zone and plans for the Port are brought together.