Ramsgate wins bid for government funds to make town centre improvements

Improvements for Ramsgate town, Photo Historic England

Government funding of just under £602,000 has been secured to make improvements to Ramsgate’s town centre as part of the Ramsgate High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme.

Ramsgate’s winning bid will create a scheme to transform some of the historic buildings on Harbour Street and repurpose empty buildings on the lower high street for creative and community use over the next three years (until end of 2024).

Work starts immediately with public engagement and the finalisation of the scheme’s project development plans.

The High Streets Heritage Action Zone is part of the £95 million government-funded programme delivered by Historic England to unlock the potential of 68 high streets across the country.

The Ramsgate scheme runs southwards along the lower High Street from its junction with George Street to historic Harbour Street, which then leads to the town’s Royal Harbour.

The £601,900 funding will help deliver: 

  • A capital works programme on Harbour Street to restore and revive the unique historic character of the area. A series of capital grants will be issued to properties to cover works such as new shop fronts and fascias and the installation of new timber windows.
  • Improvements to the public realm, specifically the current ‘coned’ pedestrianisation of Harbour Street between 9am and 5pm.
  • A ‘Friends of Harbour Street’ group made up of traders, residents and property owners, supported by the High Street HAZ Project Officer and Steering Committee. This group will be responsible for bringing positive publicity to Ramsgate town centre, hosting events and strengthening the community’s sense of identity and purpose.
  • A range of ‘options’ for the sites on the lower high street. Working with the current owners and agents, these premises could be marketed to support them being brought back into use.
  • A Cultural Consortium with opportunities to bid into the Cultural Programme, which is part of the wider £95million fund. The fund will support cultural activities that engage communities in Ramsgate, celebrating the local character and heritage.

Cllr Rick Everitt, Leader of Thanet District Council said: “As Ramsgate begins its recovery from COVID-19, we are delighted that funding has been secured to help the town centre thrive again. The high street has always been more than a place to shop and it’s more important than ever to create places at the heart of town where people want to come and spend time.

“The High Street HAZ will not only regenerate buildings that have fallen into disrepair but also create opportunities for residents and businesses to help reimagine the town centre.”

Photo Historic England

Sisters and owners of Celandine Hall in Harbour Street, Bella Landen and Sophie Hubble, have already secured a capital grant via the High Street HAZ.

They said: “We are grateful to have received support from Historic England and Thanet Council as we restore 29-31 Harbour Street in line with its historic architecture and convert the internal building from disused retail space into a vibrant space that will invigorate the high street and benefit the Ramsgate community.

“Celandine Hall has a rich history and we are delighted to be partnering with both organisations on this project.”

Liz Pollard, Heritage at Risk Projects Officer for Historic England, said: “Every high street has a distinctive history that can be harnessed to help it thrive again. We’re excited to help deliver a High Streets Heritage Action Zone in Ramsgate that will restore shop fronts and repair buildings – starting with the Grade II listed Celandine Hall – to regenerate the conservation area to benefit local people and businesses.”

Ramsgate Photo Historic England

The news follows the recent announcement of a ‘Ramsgate Future’ scheme to take forward ideas for the town’s development over the next few years.

This will build on existing activity such as the £2.7m Future High Street fund, the original Heritage Action Zone designation and public consultation on the future of the Port with the aim of bringing them all together.

The council will look to submit a bid for the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Over summer 2021, Historic England will unofficially “twin” towns, through a programme of creative commissions that see artists working with local communities to uncover what they have in common. Ramsgate will be twinned with Ryde on the Isle of Wight, and creative company Mooch will ask people in both coastal towns to create miniature models of buildings due to be regenerated.

High Streets Heritage Action Zones including Ramsgate, will also each receive substantial grants from Historic England for a “cultural consortium” of local arts organisations to create cultural offerings for their high streets.

Botanical gardens, gym or commune among ideas for a refurbished Celandine Hall in Ramsgate

Ramsgate Future investment plan to be created

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


  1. £601,900 is this the beginning of the £20,000,000 that TDC are tendering for to regenerate our town as this initial a.ount will e eaten up pretty darn quick as all building materials are sky rocketing to high prices plus labour costs are not cheap .I welcome all monies to rebuild out town shops but let’s not have a stop start movement in the rebuild as this will lead to works that will be part finished and put on hold until the next grant ,so please those in office work harder to accelerate the grants to RAMSGATE

    • The Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone funding is specifically for Ramsgate and is completely separate to the £22 million allocated to Margate’s Town Deal Fund. There was a bidding process for this money prior to its allocation, and the short-listed Projects have been documented here in a previous IoTN article. The Fund has its own Board and is not directly under TDC control but they are its accountable body.

  2. Harbour street is where the Mayor lives.
    Hope the cash avoids wage increases for the authorities and brown envelopes x

    • What exactly do you mean? Are you suggesting that there’s some impropriety involving this grant and the Mayor?
      If you have evidence, then publish it. Otherwise crawl back under your stone.

  3. The best way to improve our towns across Thanet is to ban pubs and clubs staying open to 2 / 3 / 4 am when we are back to normality. Cleaning of the streets and removing all graffiti would go a long way of improving the environment those steps would not cost a lot and leave plenty of money over for other improvements.

      • As long as they don’t all close at exactly the same time. “Chucking out time” was a big problem in the past.

  4. Community centre for the over 60 s now that age concern and Rams gate social clubs have gone , dining room ,crafts, bingo, legal centre , club meeting room

  5. talking of wasting money , has anyone seen the planning application for some huge strange words to be screwed to the undercroft on the east pier? what the hell thats all about is beyond me, surely theres more that needs funding in this town than rubbish like that ! what is the obssesion with ” art ” around here – does anyone remember the song and dance about part of the pavillion being an “art centre “, i notice its still empty – no surprises there then.

    • Perfugium miseris, “A refuge for those who need it”. The Latin motto which is carved on the lighthouse.

      I hope this gets planning permission-it looked great when it was there temporarily a few years ago.

    • You obviously can’t read ramsgatetoian as from I read of the application it actually says what it’s all about in it…another rabid dribbling keyboard warrior at work with nothing better to do obviously

    • “what the hell thats all about is beyond me,”

      Signalling to the world you lack a WORLDLY edudcation and don’t understand the knock on benefits of cultural works like art installations have across local areas.

      Quelle surprise.

  6. I would like to see a community centre for the old people of Rams gate now that the age concern and Rams gate social club have gone like the one in Sandwich ,Hairdresser, assisted bathing, Bingo, restaurant , cinema, arts and crafts, clot hes

    • Sadly the social clubs and shops that have closed is solely down to the fact they were not used enough to keep them profitable. Westwood X was the cause of the lack of footfall in all our local towns due to the free parking and vast array of stores. Business rates and Parking Wardens maybe other disincentives

      • Parking at WWX is not really “free”. Tesco, Sainsbury, B&Q, Wickes etc etc are not altruistic philanthropists.
        We all pay for the “free” carpark through the extra costs on the goods we buy. Even if we don’t shop at WWX, or drive.

        • “Parking at WWX is not really “free”. Tesco, Sainsbury, B&Q, Wickes etc etc are not altruistic philanthropists.”

          OH NOES, AN EXTRA 0.000001P on my shopping, whatever will I doooooo…

          • Andrew is correct. Parking at Westwood Cross is funded by raising prices on the goods sold there. Much better, environmentally, to have stuck with town centre shopping and walked, cycled or used public transport.

  7. i wonder do any of our friends that are coming over the channel from france read latin ? just a thought

  8. Some more visibility on The Micro Museum would be good.
    They don’t want money but some recognition that they exist.

    • Micro museum is gunna pale in comparison to the museum of everything else by youtube star “lookmumnocomputer” opening up next door.

      Should also provide an EXCELLENT learning hub for the local yr10/11/12/13 STEM learning kids.

  9. It will all get eaten up and waisted in art and unwanted nonsense to please the London arty farty. Why is it that TDC can’t do anything, always begging for grants yet nothing changes for the better.still council tax goes up for less and less in return. Policy?? Sell all assets cheap, wait for new owners to do nothing and make Thanet a bigger shit hole. TDC will then moan and blame eachother for their decision, then remember that they sold it all so not their fault. But it’s ok people we have the TURNER CENTRE, really Thanet has nothing to write home about, all at TDC should leave they have done nothing good in Thanet except bring it down and out

    • If this money is a consequence of London’s “arty farty” then good on them for bringing money, imagination and enterprise to our town, and shame on the locals who seem content to wallow in squalor.

  10. Does this “Improvements to the public realm, specifically the current ‘coned’ pedestrianisation of Harbour Street between 9am and 5pm” mean that Harbour Street will have a proper barrier enforcing the pedestrian zone?
    Brilliant news. Need to send in the traffic wardens as well, because every vehicle parked in the town centre is there illegally.
    Money well spent.

  11. Time to sort out all the beach toilets bring them up to modern standards .also tidy up seafront areas ramsgate Harbour need it

  12. Highly laudable as this may seem, it will all be a waste of (our) money if Manston re-opens! Dirty old cargo aircraft flying in over the harbour at less than 300 meters high, down Ramsgate High Street at between 250 & 200 meters, two or more an hour, this will destroy the tourist/hospitality industry, putting many people out of work!

  13. This thread is laugh a minute.

    So sorry about the regeneration. I apologise on behalf of everyone who lived here, moved here or moved away.

    Down with this kind of thing.

  14. while we are on the subject of the regeneration of ramsgate , does anyone know if that huge jack up barge that is rusting away at the west side of the harbour is going to be a permanent fixture for the town ? perhaps some of the local graffiti artists can have a go at it , then we could sell it to holiday makers as another artistic creation for the area.

  15. while we are on the subject of the regeneration of ramsgate , has anyone got any news on the massive jack up barge that is rusting away on the west side of the harbour ? will this become a permanent fixture for the town ? perhaps they could let the local graffiti artists have a go at it, and market it as a work of art for all tourists that flock here ?

  16. hi dot
    i could not agree with you more , but you have to be carful what you say on here , some one is always trying to squash your right to have an opion ( even though our rates must go towards this rubbish ? ) or most likely we will be given an english lesson , i left school too long ago to be lectured on grammar.

    • Your rates contributed nothing to this £600,000 grant.
      It’s a shame that you’re not more open minded about education, especially with respect to your mother tongue.
      It’s never too late to learn.

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