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).


  1. “a new town square on the current pier yard car park”

    Give the pissheads somewhere new to meet up, the rest sounds good tho

  2. Amazing news. Wahoo!!! Well done all involved big shout out to the Ramsgate Futures team at Thanet District Council, Ramsgate Town Council, Ramsgate Town Team, Ramsgate Society, Cllr Rick Everitt for getting the ball rolling and every single stakeholder who responded to the survey, attended workshops and made their voices heard.

    • Good old Boris aye,dont for one second think this is Boris being a decent chap, the bloke and his party are the reason we are all in this situation, too little too late

    • The exciting news on Manston will be that it is finally, permanently, closed and we can all get on with our lives.

    • There was news this week on Manston, Arup, the government appointed assessor agreed with the 4 examiners who said there was no need for it and the DCO should be refused.

  3. I trust that the spending of this money will be open, above board, transparent, and NOT controlled by TDC!
    The outcomes and objectives will need to be continuously monitored, so the first problem is to find a management structure that can be trusted to run these projects. We live in hope!

  4. i wonder how much of this cash will vanish ? we wont see any real change. and i so hope none of it is wasted on worthless ” arts ” projects , no doubt someone will be lining thier own pockets as usual.

  5. Can see some issues with this-

    1. Lots of IT training, but where exactly are the well paid jobs going to come from in these somewhat niche subjects, once they are done & have their ‘T’ certificates?

    2. Where is anything about trying to make our flagging high streets bustling again, one assumes the idea is to just leave them boarded up/whited out.

    3. Why the interest in having nice hotels if as point 2 there is nothing to draw people in?

    4. Why the obsession with fishing? Something with never ending disputes over fishing rights, that is such a tiny fraction of the economy & why add another horrendous smell to the copious amounts of weed/fags, rotting seaweed & dog mess?

  6. Ann, you old goat. In spite of your hideous personality, you should be commended on your parochial optimism, in the face of all the facts, reports and COP26… “very exciting, as will the news on Manston.”

    However, levelling up to sink us down again (with cargo hub planes overhead) just isn’t cricket. Good luck duckie.

    • What a brave person you are, hiding behind an alias to insult a woman and a pensioner. I have no strong feelings either way over the airport, but there is really no need for it.

  7. This is very good news for Ramsgate. Of course not everybody will have had their own pet idea included but, taken all for all, and with the final killing off of the idea of opening a 20th century polluting air freight hub at Manston the future of our town looks a lot brighter.

    • what is it people have against an airport being used as one.. Bit pointless building that nice new rail link but it’s happened

      • Wevsky

        Two points

        IF Manston reopens and IF 300 million can be found to invest in manston.

        1, manston would be a CARGO hub

        2, the new train station is passenger only.

        Neither have anything to do with each other apart from being a waste of money and just some ‘fly’ in the sky pipe dream 😉


      • Ask the residents of Thanet, who in their droves and over decades chose not to use it.
        That’s why it went bust.

        • I don’t care about the airport either way, but I certainly wouldn’t oppose something that was here long before I moved to the area in 1985. That just wouldn’t feel right.

          • Marva, I’d be like one of those people who move to the countryside and then complain about the noise of church bells and the smell of cattle. I knew when I moved to the area 36 years ago that there was an airport here – if I hadn’t liked it, I would’ve moved to somewhere else.

        • Of course it is… though it is a very strange community indeed that has a brand new station but no pub and no proper shop. I wouldn’t live there.

        • Airpit? my point, well i am sure i had one yesterday but ive had several naps since then, but isnt it all a tad of a waste of money ,station in the middle of nowhere

  8. what would the cost be of upgrading the line to ashford, or even the part from Ashford to canterbury as step one, to enable true high speed travel to London? I presume it would need to have same overhead power cables as per the actual high speed bit of the journey.
    If that journey came to 60 or so minutes, that would be a real leveler

    • I suspect the biggest problem would be that Ashford to Canterbury goes through several stations (Wye, Chilham, Chartham).

    • Track capacity, you need fewer longer trains and fewer stops , so that trains can get upto speed for longer and have fewer trains on the line to ensure safety due to the higher speeds. BUT longer trains need longer platforms which are very expensive and no one wants to lose their local station. So not much is going to change. ( unless you build whole new lines, but then you still have congestion at the termini)

      • Track capacity can be improved by having more signals. It doesn’t really matter how many intermediate stations there are: the train doesn’t have to stop at them!
        Some of the track bed around Grove Ferry is not up to much, and there are 40mph speed restrictions.

        • Track capacity can be improved with new signalling but you end up slowing the trains down even further and you still have the problem of terminus capacity.

    • I’ve asked you before, but I’ll ask you again… why do you live in Thanet if you dislike the area so much? I’ve lived in places I don’t like, and quickly moved on to somewhere else, but the fact that I’ve remained in the Thanet/Herne Bay area for the past 36 years should tell you that I largely find the area highly appealing – hence my interest!

  9. Peter Checksfield we do like Ramsgate which is why we are fighting tooth & nail to stop a 24/7/365 cargo hub blighting our town & lives. A cargo hub, I would point out, supported by the Likes of Roger Gale, Craig MxKinlay & Beau Webber, who don’t even live here in Thanet . Craig Mackinlay is good mates with Tony Freudmann and did plan to run an airline from Manston, MaMa airlines. A company still listed as active in companies house. This is something he had to apologise to the house about as he failed to declare an interest. Said he “forgot” he had it !!

    • Ian, I didn’t ask you, I asked “Real World” who whenever he/she/it comments refers to the place as a “dump” or “turd”… unless that is you?

  10. I heard about the progenitor of the ‘green Campus’ sometime ago, when it was not getting any traction at TDC. Thanks to Steve Albon it finally reached the right ears. London array deserve a lot of praise for their vision.
    The new Ramsgate Town square was one of Peter Campbell’s pet projects and the Ramsgate Society put in a lot of hard work and overcame very frustrating delays in deriving the project for the Clock house. Thankfully, Ramsgate is at last getting the recognition that it needs a hand up and not a hand out.
    Radford House is on the move and I am pleased that things are happening for Ramsgate. Frankly I don’t care who is giving the money and why it is being allocated, all I suggest is that they now crack on and get it all built swiftly.
    All that needs now is for Ramsgate Market to be revived, Albion gardens to be transferred into safe hands, and the Eastcliff lift to be renewed.
    The Town Centre still needs work and the Money Advice centre I proposed is sorely needed. I will get one set up one day, but maybe not down here in Kent.
    May I wish all the very best to those in Ramsgate, who have worked so hard to improve the fortunes of the Town.

  11. I don’t object to the airport because of noise or planes overhead, I object because people round here for too long have hung the hopes of the island on a failed airport. As if suddenly it would create 1,000s and 1,000s of Jobs it hasn’t ever and will not ever. It’s a massive plot of land and the land used pretty much any other way would more jobs. Short or long term. Especially a freight one.

    As for “levelling up” haha are people still falling for that spin and nonsense. No one is being levelled up. It’s smoke and mirrors from a failing government.

  12. It’s a great day for Ramsgate.

    But it’ll be ruinous with a giant gargo plane rumbling in at 700 feet over the harbour where so much regeneration is focused.

    Who wants 100decibel screaming engines every 12 minutes?

    If ever there was a moment to kill the cargo hub nightmare it would be now.

    • Are you not old enough to remember when manston was active , military jets and planes flying over the roof of my house all day long, its just a fact of life with an airport close by,people didnt protest or go all karen.

      • But they did complain Steve
        In 1958 the then Ramsgate Mayor took a petition to the Palace of Westminster about the noise over Ramsgate. The result the USAF moved. Even in 1970 the permanent aircraft at Manston was two chipmunks and a Varsity
        The first commercial business at Manston was 1959 and no business has ever made a profit. In fact Ladyman stated the subsidy from the RAF up to its sale in 1998 was between £3m-£7m. That is what kept Manston afloat

        • well i quite enjoyed hearing the planes go over .. but that’s just me, and you have me at a disadvantage with my name, cos i have no idea who you are. well i have a suspicion

    • A Karen.. someone who likes to complain, moan and generally takes offence

      It’s an internet thing, not everyone it seems is aware of the type

      As for aviation, airport was running when i grew up in the 70’s all essential flights of course, its what airports do

    • You do remember when the airport had a active MOD , the sea king helicopters? RAF/usaf on the base. it was a busy airport. my windows used to rattle to the point we thought they would shatter, such is living under the flight path

      • I was not living in Thanet when the RAF was at Manston.

        I can’t imagine why anyone who has lived under a flight path would want to do so again.

        • Same reason i live right next to a train line, and have done 15 years, you get used to it!
          As for planes going overhead, as a kid id go out and watch out for them, obviously more interesting planes than cargo, but manston has had an airport (successful )or not for as long as i can remember, and if it gets up and running again then all well and good

          • No, I moved to live near the sea. I did not live directly under the flight path to and from Manston airport.

      • There is a notable difference to moving near an RAF base (as it was when I moved here)as such noise and pollution was a consequence of the defence of the realm as to a commercial set up for some foreign businessmen to make money out of flying foodstuffs from continents that cant even feed their own populations.

  13. Two points. First: Will the money spent on each project be made public, or as usual some will be wasted on certain things connected with the goings on with some officers at TDC. Second: Lets get Manston as an Airport up and running.

  14. This report cost the Department of Transport £150,000 and in truth it was just repeating what has previous been said.

    • Did you actually read the original report or do you just regurgitate what Webber and Gale post. You do realise they are biased

    • So, this report endorsed what the previous reports said i.e. that the Manston DCO had no commercial or strategic justification.

      • And old report dragging up old issues, Manston Airport is the future going forward. RSP is the future for employment & education.

  15. RSP Manston Airport has partnered with Ramsgate Football Club to create a unique half term activities camp for 120 youngsters, which begins tomorrow.

    The camp, which runs alongside the club’s other half term activities programmes, is open to all children but is provided free to youngsters who are eligible for the Government’s Free School Meals funding. It will offer a wide range of activities including football, crafts, and street dance, as well as airport-themed activities, flight simulators and opportunities to meet real life pilots.

    The £16,000 funding from RSP Manston Airport will also enable club chefs to provide nutritious, free hot lunches throughout the week as state funding for meals over school holidays, campaigned for by footballer Marcus Rashford, does not extend to cover this October half term.

    The camp is themed around healthy food and nutrition and activities and menus during the week will be based around the sports, cultures and cuisines of Brazil, Italy, Spain, and the UK.

    Dr Sally Dixon, who is co-ordinating the programme for RSP Manston Airport, said: “A hot meal and fun with your friends in the holidays should be on the menu for every child, but we know some families really need support to make this possible. Ramsgate FC has a brilliant reputation for their holiday camps and, when they told us there was no Government funding to feed these children over half term, we stepped in to help.

    “However, we wanted to go further than just provide funding, We wanted to bring along some fun activities and share the skills and experience of the Manston Airport family too. We are working with Polar Helicopters and TG Aviation and will bring along some flight simulators that will allow the youngsters to take to the virtual skies as a pilot. The activity will be overseen by a pilot trainer who will talk to the youngsters about the skills needed in a variety of logistics jobs.

    “I am also delighted to confirm that local food producers, including SW Highwood (Pluckley) Limited, Prep World and Thanet Earth are also supporting the programme, providing fresh produce that the club’s chefs will use in the menu. We are really grateful to everyone that has helped us make this possible – this is a real Thanet effort to ensure these youngsters have a fantastic half term.”

    • Considering the climate change situation ,I think RSP should have omitted anything to do with aviation from these half-term activities, as the sooner people stop flying, the better.

  16. John558 says “RSP Manston Airport has partnered with Ramsgate Football Club to create a unique half term activities camp for 120 youngsters, which begins tomorrow.”

    Shame half terms finishes today !

    Would this be the same Marcus Rashford that gave himself a million pound load from his own company to avoid paying tax ? Than uses children going hungry to make him seem like a nice decent person ?

    John558 you seem to like putting your faith in shall we say people who’s PR department are good at improving their image. You need to look at the facts 😉

  17. Plus Rashford works for a company/ football club that is based in the Carmen Islands to avoid uk taxes. Uses another Citys name and wears another Cities Coat of Arms on the blazers. United are not a Manchester club but from Trafford Grester Manchester. Only one premier league club is from Manchester, hence our nick name the Citizens. Utd are registered in the Carmen Islands.

    Whilst Rashford has done a fantastic job of arising awareness of food poverty in the UK, and they is no doubt he has. Dont believe all the hype around him and his club.

  18. Marcus Rashford & RSP didn’t have to do this. Oh dear you can’t please some people. Have a nice day, or is there something wrong with that statement I wonder?

    • Nothing wrong with someone have a nice day.

      The point I was making is Rashford a multi millionaire who chooses to work for a company/club who are based in the Carmen Islands. If he felt strongly enough about the wrongs of this country, why not move to a UK registered company ? I think Rashford has done a fantastic job to raise awareness of food poverty, but he is happy to work for a company that avoids UK taxes. This makes less money available to the government
      Same with RSP who employs a struck of solicitor. Same with RSP surly they could employ a better person than a struck of solicitor !

  19. It is a pity that every time Ramsgate gets discussed it always reverts to Manston. The detail of the proposal for asset improvements in Ramsgate does need individual attention and certainly full concentration as to who is going to manage this amount of new money. Hopefully not TDC, but then who else do we have? A scrutiny committee of citizens pehaps?

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