The Grade II listed, Art Deco lift at the Western Undercliff in Ramsgate has sold at public auction for £31,000 – a little above the £20,000 guide price.
The Clive Emson auction is being held online today (December 15).
The structure was built circa 1926 and had capacity to carry 20 passengers but has not worked for a number of years. It was listed for asset disposal by Thanet council in 2019.
The lift has been cared for by volunteers of the Western Undercliff Regeneration Group. In 2017 volunteers installed colourful artwork and new Perspex panels after working for around three months with artists Lee Nicholls and Robert Onion to spruce up the lift.
The group managed to secure £1,200 from Ramsgate Town Council and permission from Thanet council to replace the Perspex panels in the shaft and create art at both the top and the bottom of the structure.
The Western Undercliff cafe and toilet block has also been sold at the same auction for £600,000, just above the £550,000 guide price.
It was initially sold by Thanet council in 2018 for £100,000.
In 2020 planning approval was given for a café, restaurant and flats at the site but this year the developer said the proposal would be ditched due to a row with Thanet council over further financial contributions.
Tim Burt, who is a partner in Western Undercliff Ltd, said negotiations with the council’s estates department had broken down. He now says he will abandon any future investment in Thanet.