Details of £19.8 million Ramsgate ‘Levelling Up’ proposals published by Thanet council

Ramsgate bid for £19.8million Photo Frank Leppard

Plans for a ‘Green Port’ projected to create 800 jobs, a Green Hub training centre for apprenticeships and training, hospitality and fishing fleet proposals and community kitchens are outlined in the final bid document from Thanet council for £19.8million of government funding.

The Levelling Up bid for Ramsgate includes plans to create a training hotel and restaurant at the Smack Boy’s building at Ramsgate harbour, a brasserie and a fishing facility for the local fleet to store and sell catch from; a new town square on the current pier yard car park, a refurbished clock tower building and two community sites in Newington and Ramsgate with training kitchens, community teaching.

Photo Frank Leppard

The submission, now published on Thanet council’s website, earmarks £9,615,100 for the Green Port and campus project, which will also include a Centre of Excellence and space for green businesses;

The council says the aim is to generate:

  • 30 Young people accessing training each year from operation
  • 60 Ramsgate Residents reentering t he workforce
  • 30 Employees receiving on the job training at any given time
  • 70nThanet residents working in the Green Campus
  • 20,000 Hours of work experience (including T Levels)
  • 30 New Apprentices per year

The bid document says: “The (port) project consists of two main and interconnected parts: the Modern Green Port and the Green Campus. For the Modern Green Port, investment is broken down into three sections (Site clearance and remediation; improved breakwater and new berthing infrastructure).

“The Green Campus is a single building.

“The first works will commence in Q4 2021/22 and complete by Q4 2022/23. All works will be completed in Q4 2023/24.”

For the harbour project – including the town square proposal at Pier Yard car park – another £9,388,300 is earmarked.

The document states: “The Smack Boys addresses the lack of high end hotels in Ramsgate to support the town’s emergence as a more diverse visitor destination. The management model will provide new career pathways and training opportunities to residents.


A new fishing hub reinvigorates the Ramsgate fleet and supports the financial resilience of this community with much needed refrigeration infrastructure, which is currently absent. Provide space for a new high-end fish restaurant and linked fish market to drive the visitor economy and provide new training and employment opportunities.

Photo Frank Leppard

“The Clock House refurbishment provides an important publicly accessible focal point for visitors and residents at the heart of the Royal Harbour, with a new space for local history and heritage and complementary restaurant. Outside the town square delivers a much needed pedestrian and child friendly space at the heart of the harbour as a community and visitor space.”

Photo Steven Collis

The bid states this will generate:

  • 30 Young people accessing training each year from operation
  • 70 Ramsgate Residents re-entering the workforce
  • 30 Employees receiving on the job training at any given time
  • 20 Referrals from community to training providers leading to work
  • 20,000 Hours of work experience (including T Levels) post completion
  • 30 New Apprentices per year i n Target Sectors
  • 100% Increase in turnover of Ramsgate fishing fleet within 2 years of fishing hub

  • 20% of Thanet visitors actively looking to visit Ramsgate
  • 25% Increase in footfall at the Royal Harbour
  • 1,144m2 of vacant space brought into use
  • 2,500 m2 of new public realm
  • £500,000 Increase in the capital value of publicly owned assets improved
  • £250,000 Increased revenues from improved use of publicly owned assets per annum

The project for community sites in Newington and Ramsgate has been allocated £840,000.

The document states: “This will provide training spaces and community/ training kitchen facility/amenity to support both initial skills development and community enterprise in food. Developing skills around food and hospitality will not only provide valuable access to new and aspirational career pathways but also provide an opportunity to promote skills and knowledge around healthy eating to address some of the challenges the town faces around health and deprivation.”

This is aimed to generate:

  • 200 residents engaged each year
  • 50 residents reporting new skills
  • 30 Young people accessing training each year from operation
  • 70 Ramsgate Residents re-entering t he workforce
  • 30 Employees receiving on the job t raining at any given t me
  • 20 Referrals from community to training providers leading to work
  • 70 Thanet residents working in the Green Campus
  • 20,000 Hours of work experience (including T Levels) post completion
  • 30 New Apprentices per year in Target Sectors
  • 2 new food businesses formed in Newington each year

The bid was submitted in June and an outcome is expected in the autumn. Parts of the published bid document have been redacted.

Photo Frank Leppard

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Ash Ashbee said: “I’m pleased to be able to share the detail behind the council’s submission for Ramsgate as part of the Levelling Up Fund. It is a comprehensive and exciting bid which details ambitious plans for the future of the town. I wanted to ensure the formal document was available so the community can read our proposals and the details that have informed them.

“We continue to wait for feedback from the Government on the outcome, which we expect to receive later on this year. As yet, there hasn’t been a date set but we hope to share positive news about the bid in the Autumn.”

Long-term proposals from the Ramsgate Future initiative are due to be published in October 2021.

Access the Levelling Up documents via the Ramsgate Future page here.

Ramsgate county councillor Karen Constantine said she welcome the planned investment but had hoped to see access improvements for people of all abilities included.

She said: “The plans look extremely exciting and I welcome all ideas that regenerate Ramsgate, and create much needed employment, especially for our younger residents. These ideas will certainly help to boost our tourism offer and improve the area for locals and tourists alike.

“There are a few areas of significant concern. This levelling up fund represents what may be a once in a generation opportunity. It is very disappointing that the many issues raised by Ramsgate’s residents with disabilities haven’t been taken on board. Access in Ramsgate will not be improved, despite being requested by a group of disabled residents who participated in the consultation. Upgrading access should have been the very first task.

Photo Frank Leppard

“We need to level up the opportunities of those with disabilities to the same level as those without disabilities. In particular across to the beach. This would also have been a valuable offer for visitors. I hope all the new plans for restaurants hotels training areas etc, will fully comply with the Equality Act.

“It’s hard to see who will invest a hotel and high end fish restaurant whilst we still have the slim prospect of air cargo flights thundering overhead! Also the blue flag status of our beach’s must be protected at all costs. The recent issues of sewerage and other waste discharge must now be prevented from reoccurring if this plan has any prospect of success.

“I will be calling a public meeting to discuss the on-going pollution with the Environmental Agency, Southern Water and KCC.”

Photo Frank Leppard

The bid coincides with a growing property demand in Ramsgate.

The town has recently been ranked as the number one out of 20 seaside towns from the UK to relocate to by a national property market report by for its accessibility, travel time to London, price growth, value for money, culture and maritime heritage, cleanliness, beaches and education.

Amanda Collison from the Property Market Index said: “£500 million is going to be invested into Ramsgate and the nearby area over the next three to five years. This will be through the new HS1 Thanet Parkway railway station, reducing travel times to London to just under an hour, the rebirth of Manston airport.

“There is also a £50 million Royal Sands Ramsgate beachfront development from Blueberry Homes under construction opposite the harbour and includes luxury apartments with uninterrupted sea views, a 60-bedroom boutique hotel, a promenade, leisure, retail, café culture all within just a few yards of the award-winning sandy beaches.

“Ramsgate’s royal links, maritime history, architecture, stunning harbour, Thanet’s Blue Flag international award-winning sandy beaches, high performing grammar schools and high demand for living by the sea have all lead to why this seaside town is quickly becoming the latest popular coastal location with relocators from London.”

Photo Frank Leppard

Blueberry Homes, which is sponsoring the Ramsgate 200 Festival in September, is in the second phase of the Royal Sands build.

The Thanet development firm is creating 106 luxury 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments, each with underground parking, a 60-bed hotel and gym and leisure and retail units. There are also plans for an upmarket spa franchise at the site.

The first phase of the build, at the Ramsgate Tunnels end of the site, consists of the 26 apartments with the planned hotel at the Wetherspoon end of the plot being in the last phase.

Retail units, taking up some 16,000 square foot, will be built alongside each phase with larger units at the hotel end of the site.

Blueberry Homes started work on the long-awaited Royal Sands in June 2020 with an estimated three-year completion time.

A  spokesperson said:” We’re very proud to be headquartered in the area and have built our reputation by building luxury developments alongside some of these beautiful beachfront locations in Thanet.

“Of all our developments over the last ten years, we have never seen so much demand as there is for the Royal Sands beachfront development. It’s a real testament to the area and its appeal that we’ve managed to sell all the first phase off-plan during COVID, and we’re seeing a similar pattern now we’ve launched the second phase.

Photo Frank Leppard

“The hours of sunshine and sea views, as well as the architecture and cafe culture of this maritime town, are unique. We have to pinch ourselves sometimes when we look out at the stunning vista from the development to the beach, you can even see France on a clear day.”