Ramsgate Maritime Museum is back open to the public more than a year since Covid shut its doors.
The museum, which is inside Ramsgate’s Clock House, has four galleries of exhibits of maritime history and a fifth area which has been used as an art space.
The Museum will be open again to the public until Sunday, October 3. Opening times are Wednesday to Sunday inclusive from 11am to 4pm
Covid Restrictions will apply until further notice. Maximum number of 6 people at any time.
Face masks must be worn and social distancing is in place. Hand sanitiser is provided
The museum is currently operated by the Steam Museum Trust assisted by volunteers from the Ramsgate Society.
It is hoped that The Ramsgate Society may take over the museum site after the group’s viability study for the building was included as part of a £19.8 bid for government Levelling Up funding.
First mooted in 2015, but with lease issues standing in the way, the Society’s proposal includes a museum and heritage centre with five gallery areas, a terrace and mechanical interactive exhibits on various historical themes. It would be a combination of renovation and new build,
In the proposal it states: “The Clock House presents an exciting opportunity to develop a heritage centre which enables visitors to explore Ramsgate’s maritime and social history.
The surrounding Harbour and dry dock is of significant heritage value and would greatly benefit from a centre where visitors can access information and interpretation.
The proposed centre should complement rather than compete with existing museums and places of interest, encouraging visitors and residents alike to explore the historic town.”
The bid is part of a three-point plan for Ramsgate. This includes the port, access for the community in town and in Newington and proposals for the Royal Harbour to link buildings within the area to develop new and distinctive visitor assets that will provide important new training and employment pathways for residents.
A new boutique hotel and a high end restaurant and a brasserie will provide apprenticeships and in work training in hospitality. These will be accompanied by investment in quayside fishing facilities to enable the local fleet to store and sell their catch, as well as providing new fishing and maritime jobs and training to support the growth and resilience of the town’s fishing community.
The proposal says: “New public realm adjacent to a refurbished clocktower will create a new town square, as well as connecting projects and reducing congestion within the centre.”
John Walker, from The Ramsgate Society, says a new Community Interest Company has been set up to act as the vehicle for the scheme.
He added: “We are waiting to hear whether the Levelling Up bid is successful and will probably find out in September. Then it will be all systems go and we will be working with the council to try and develop the project and deliver it. The council is in discussion with the Steam Museums Trust about arrangements for that.
“The new CIC will oversee the running of the museum as this is not just a Ramsgate Society project but something for the whole community and we want the community to have that feeling of ownership.”
Mr Walker said the SMT had been co-operative in discussions.