Ramsgate and Margate £26.1 million Levelling Up projects in first round of successful bids

Ramsgate Photo Frank Leppard

Ramsgate and Margate are among those named in the first round for successful Levelling Up bids to government.

A list of more than 100 successful bids has been released as part of the Autumn Spending Review and includes Ramsgate and Margate.

Funding bid amounts were £6,306,078 for the Margate Digital project and £19,840,000 for Ramsgate Future.

Cllr Ash Ashbee, Leader of Thanet District Council said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for the district. Having not one, but both of our funds approved by the Government is the best outcome we could have hoped for. Both of these bids will make a huge difference to the communities, businesses and stakeholders in the district, helping to boost Thanet’s economy and provide more jobs and training opportunities for as many people as possible.

“I am delighted with this result, which had the full backing from both our local MPs, Craig Mackinlay and Sir Roger Gale. I want to thank everyone involved in preparing and submitting these bids for their hard work and valuable contribution, which will have a substantial impact on Thanet’s future.”

Ramsgate Future

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 £19.8million Ramsgate Future scheme.

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.

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

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said: “It is fantastic news that the full Levelling Up Fund bid for £19.8m for Ramsgate has been agreed by the Treasury.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to improve many of our important historic buildings, renew commercial fishing facilities and provide wide ranging community improvements with new jobs at the heart.

“There is also the opportunity to finally secure a new, permanent future for the commercial port.

“By working with our Thanet District Council councillors, together, we can make lasting economic improvements to the local economy.”

Responding to the news that Thanet’s two levelling up bids have been successful, Cllr Rick Everitt, leader of Thanet’s Labour group, said: “This is excellent news for Thanet and particularly Ramsgate, which has so often been overlooked in the past.

“The previous Labour administration at TDC made sure that Ramsgate was at the top of the list this time, by launching the Ramsgate Future initiative early this year, and we are delighted it has been successful despite what was a very tight timescale. This would not have happened without the hard work and commitment of the TDC officers involved.

“This money cannot make up for the many tens of millions that have been taken away from the district in cuts by central government over the last decade, but it is still very positive news for Ramsgate and we look forward to seeing the whole town reap the benefit in the years ahead.”

 Margate Digital

The bid for Margate is for the Margate Digital project; a specialist industry-focused centre positioned in Margate High Street.

Thanet District Council, in partnership with the EKC Group and The Margate School, aims to  create 2,000 sq m of cutting-edge, industry-relevant training space which will focus on digital technology.

The shared space will link with local businesses, and TDC says increased footfall will enhance the town centre, making it more attractive to residents, visitors and businesses.

The campus will deliver a range of technical qualifications, including specialised T Levels in Animation, Architecture, Programming, Coding, Graphics, Marketing, TV and Film, and offer progression to Level 4 and 5 provision by introducing new Higher Technical Qualifications, supported by a government-backed brand and quality mark to meet the higher-level skills of industry.

Graham Razey OBE

EKC Group and the Margate School partnered with Thanet District Council on the Margate Digital project.

Graham Razey, Chief Executive Officer of EKC Group, said: “This funding will help bring EKC Margate Digital to life, helping to grow new high skills, high wage jobs across Thanet and the wider East Kent area. It’s a really exciting prospect which will bring education, business and those looking to train and develop together, ensuring that the right skills are being developed in this growing area of our economy.

“Now that we have the funding in place, we’re looking forward to getting on with the business of developing and delivering this new provision for the Thanet community we proudly serve.”

The Levelling Up Fund

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund aims to provide investment for local infrastructure which will have a visible impact on people and their communities across the UK. This includes a range of high value local investment priorities, for local transport schemes, urban regeneration projects and cultural assets.

The Fund is jointly managed by HM Treasury (HMT), the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Department for Transport (DfT).