Ellington Park restoration nears completion with playground ready for use following cafe, toilets and bandstand opening

Ellington cafe (image Carlos Dominguez, Thanet Property Photography) and new play area

The Ellington Park restoration project is nearing completion with the new playground now open alongside the unveiling of the bandstand and the new café, run by the Friends of Ellington Park, already open for a trial period and training.

The Ellington Café is a single story building with knapped flint panels to coordinate with the original flint on the terrace wall. The main space has an indoor seating for 36 and has been designed to be a flexible multi-purpose space with hidden storage and sink for workshops and events.

Thanet District Council and the Friends of Ellington Park ensured the café was designed with energy efficiency as a priority. The recent Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) gave an ‘A Rating’ for the building, with a 36% reduction in CO2 emissions. Potential over heating from solar gain is between 57.2% and 95.7% lower than building regulations target. Overall from the government’s records for efficiency ratings since 2009, the Ellington Café’s rating is within the top 1.7% of England’s 922,170 non-domestic buildings.

The new cafe Image by Lucy’s Photos

Beverly Perkins, Chair of Friends of Ellington Park said: “Achieving such an ecologically successful design for the café is a great credit to everyone involved – The Design Team, Thanet District Council, and the Friends. To continue this ethos, the café will source food and drinks locally and operate no plastic and limited waste policies.”

The new playground has wooden balancing beams, seesaw, climbing frames, swings and climbing rocks. The play area has been designed with natural sustainable materials and the old play area will be removed with some items reused (where possible) across the district.

The 120 year old Victorian bandstand was restored by specialists Lost Art and kept under wraps until the major work of the café and landscape had been completed.

Cllr George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Youth Engagement at Thanet District Council, said: “The regeneration of Ellington Park has been a long-term project and it is wonderful to see all of the plans coming to fruition. It has been exciting to see all of the changes and the great work that can be achieved through strong community partnerships.

“The new café and updated playground reflect the desire of the local residents who were consulted on these plans from the outset. The bandstand provides a wonderful focal point for the park and it is really exciting to see such an iconic feature within Ellington Park restored to its former glory. This is a major milestone in the park’s regeneration journey.“

Restored bandstand Image Lucy’s Photos

The remaining landscape works will continue for another couple of months and include new heritage stone balustrades, boundary fencing, planting, interpretation features, new website and signs. The café will continue to operate during this period, and some events will be taking place.

The café, toilets and bandstand refurbishment are part of a £1.8million project launched by Thanet council and Friends of Ellington Park who worked together to secure money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, for the regeneration of the site, under the Parks for People Programme.

Ellington Park’s new cafe and toilets and refurbished bandstand now open to the public

20 Comments

  1. Just wondering, if Ellington Park was gifted to Ramsgate by previous owners, and if so will “Friends of Ellington Park” who acquired if from T.D.C. will ever charge people to enter it ?

    • @Paul – I don’t think it was ever gifted to Ramsgate by its previous owners; in the “Short Celebratory History of Ellington Park” (Catriona Blaker, 2021) it states that the land was purchased by the Ramsgate Corporation in 1892 – which is a key distinction to make. Also, “Friends of Ellington Park” never acquired the park from TDC – as a simple Land Registry search can confirm. 🙂

    • @Jackie – As I understand it, flint wall is being restored and will be completed later in the year, and rose beds have been replaced to be more reflective of the original designs for that part of the park. Someone may correct me but I believe the roses have been relocated.

  2. What a shame the park has lost all those mature trees to allow this large tarmacked seating area and car parked there. There was a multitude of magnificent and ancient trees which many have gone now. This was totally unnecessary and has destroyed the historic feel and how the park was meant to be enjoyed.

    • The trees were cut down because, in the opinion of a tree surgeon, they were diseased. Presumably you know better?

  3. Is that tarmac outside the cafe ? What ever the floor covering is it looks horrendous.
    It doesnt look in keeping with a park.

  4. I spent many hours in the park as a kid. I loved the trains when they were running. Do they still run? It will be good to see eveything being used including the bandstand. It would be nice to see the averies re introduced. Congratulations to what I see is an improvement. Im a Margate resident now but will make the effort to support the work done if supporting events take place. Bring back Pheonix fare that used to take place and live bands etc and keep the local idiots who destroy all the good work out and there will be a good recipe for success. Well done so far.

  5. Many congratulations to the team with the vision and committment to see this project through. All locals and visitors can benefit from this C21st investment in one of our green spaces. Thank you.

  6. I remember the pheonix fairs they had every time in the 70s-early 80s. Those were the GREAT TIMES,as a little boy then. 51 years old now still seems like yesterday.

  7. went past the park today ( 20th august ) couldn’t believe how many people were in there, i have never actually been in the park even though i have lived in thanet for all my 57 years, 30 of which have been in Ramsgate. will definitely be going in there for a look around and a coffee.

    • It’s crazy – I have also lived almost my whole life in Thanet, off and on, and the number of people using the park has just gone through the roof in the last couple of weeks since everything opened up!

  8. MARGARET AND I HAVE SPENT VERY MANY YEARS ENJOYING THE TIME SPENT IN THE PARK AS WE BOTH LIVED VERY NEAR TO IT I USED TO PLAY FOOTBALL AND CRIKET ON WHAT WE CALLED THE CHILDRENS PLAYGROUND JUST INSIDE THE ENTRANCE IN ELLINGTON ROAD AND GRANGE OFTEN WITH MY BROTHER PETER.
    WE THINK THAT THE PEOPLE WHO MADE ALL THIS POSSIBLE SHOULD GET SOME KIND OF RECOGNISHION. WELL DONE TO THEM ALL.

  9. Well done to all those who made this possible. I just hope the yobs do not spoil it with vandalism and graffiti. Until the courts give out more severe sentences and parents and schools teach kids to appreciate their environment and not destroy it. Shop a yob and let them ruin things.

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