Thanet council to discuss the future of Ramsgate’s Granville Theatre

Granville Cinema by Mel Chennell

The future of the Granville Theatre on Ramsgate’s Eastcliff is set to be discussed by Thanet District Council’s Cabinet this summer.

The council owns the freehold of the building, which is also used as a cinema but the site has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March last year.

The Granville is the town’s only multi-purpose entertainment venue. It takes its name from The Granville Hotel. The building was leased from Thanet District Council by Granville Theatre Ltd, made up of local shareholders who invested money to keep the venue going.

The group of more than 30 members, who raised some £135,000, was founded by residents including Ralph Hoult -who leads Starlite Entertainers – and Philip Shaw who was also the general manager.

The theatre’s patron is actress Brenda Blethyn. The building was listed as an asset of community value in 2019.

But the council is due to take formal possession of the building at the end of this month after the impact of covid left the team with no option but to relinquish the site. Thanet council and has been collaborating with the outgoing tenant to ensure a smooth handover.

The intention is to bring an options paper before Cabinet members in July, as the building requires significant investment. Cabinet Member for Estates and Economic Development, Cllr Ruth Duckworth says the council is keen to bring the Granville back into familiar use as soon as possible. 

She said: “This building has been an important and much-loved cultural facility for Ramsgate – and particularly the Eastcliff area – for many years.

“I am keen to see that use continue and believe that it can, but a proper process is required to look at the options.

“In view of recent speculation, I want to make clear that the building is not on the council’s asset disposal list and there are no current plans to sell or demolish it.

“The council will secure the Granville while it is vacant and we are being transparent about how and when we intend to move forward to give it a viable future.”

Once the Cabinet has decided on the options, the council will advertise a proposal to attract and assess suitable interested parties.

Ramsgate’s Granville Theatre ‘not sold’ says Thanet council

11 Comments

  1. Great to see this news finally made public, so that our charity, partner charities and our wonderful and highly skilled team can now also make public our aim to acquire the building through a community asset transfer to transform it into a proper, fully functioning arts centre for everyone. It’s great news for the community. We have many local residents, town & county councillors behind our proposals as well as all the fabulous young people we have been working with. It’s still time to vote for your favourite films in our COVID Film Challenge where young winners win cash prizes https://www.strangelovefestival.com/kent-film-foundation

    • Thanks s sounds amazing,would be absolutely tragic to lose this lovely old theatre.Of course,it needs some TLC and would be totally supportive of anyone coming on board to save it.

    • I would like to see it turned into a community hub for the early retired and retired of this town who seem to be at the end of any list when money is given for the good people of the town , with age concern closing , The Elms club demolished etc! Somewhere we could play bingo, watch a film , listen to speakers , and even have a talent show now and then lol

  2. Demolish it and build a state of the art theatre. The residents and those who work tirelessly to entertain us deserve it

  3. I’d be interested in establishing a drama group in residence, should the building remain an entertainment venue

  4. i like the idea of a brand new theatre , and i feel it should be renamed as the SIR RALPH HOULT THEATRE – long overdue i feel.

  5. We need our cinema and theatre back Ramsgate has the grant funds would make a great space for drinks and snacks in entrance Pre Shows ,the Curzon cinemas are a good independent example

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