Launch of Town Investment Plan for Ramsgate

An investment plan for Ramsgate Photo Steven Collis

A Town Investment Plan for Ramsgate has been launched with proposals for schemes including investment in local businesses, youth employment, new cafes, hotels and restaurants, restoring historic sites, creating better public spaces, cycle paths and crossings and leisure attractions.

The Ramsgate Future Town Investment Plan is based on schemes using funding of £600,000 from the  Future High Street Fund, £2,7million from the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), and £19.8million from the Levelling Up Fund with the hope of gaining additional grants and private investment.

The scheme is mainly focused on the town, seafront and port and East Cliff although other areas, including Newington, also feature.

Thanet council leader Ash Ashbee said: “The aim of the Town Investment Plan is to outline the potential opportunities in supporting Ramsgate’s future. It has been created by the people of Ramsgate who identified what they would like for the town. The council commissioned specialists to support activities to engage local stakeholders – businesses, community groups, funding partners, members of the public – to understand the ideas and solutions for Ramsgate.

“The Ramsgate Town Investment Plan marks a huge step forward in the regeneration of Ramsgate. It sets out very clearly the projects that have been identified as being of greatest value to the town. The fact that the Plan has been created by people who live and work in Ramsgate, and who care about its future and the changes that will make the greatest impact, only adds to its importance. I look forward to seeing the wide range of projects as they start to take shape.”

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay attended the stakeholder launch and said the £19.8million Levelling Up funding for Ramsgate was “only the start” with private sector funding also playing its art.

Ramsgate harbour and clock house Image HE Comms

He highlighted the schemes to renovate Ramsgate’s clockhouse and remodel the area in Pier Yard for public space use, renovate the Smackboys Home building to create a social enterprise/training boutique hotel, his keenness for schemes that would boost Ramsgate’s fishing industry – such as the plans for a new fish restaurant and linked fish market – and the need to focus on Net Zero funding and business at the Port.

Chris Paddock, from consultants PRD, is among those who has been collecting statistical evidence and developing the plan.

He said many striking elements were instantly visible for Ramsgate in terms of deprivation, and restricted job and economy growth but also in potential for the plan.

He said Ramsgate’s job economy has not grown for a decade and many businesses needed help to grow.

Photo Brian Whitehead

The investment plan aims to provide support and advice for local businesses,  turn underused spaces to provide affordable workspace, reduce reliance on seasonal trade, support year round marine jobs, increase skills and training and build on locational advantages to create opportunities within Green and Low carbon sectors.

With youth unemployment in Ramsgate almost 10% higher than in England on average and unemployment in the over 50s  twice as high as the England average. Plans also include getting capital investment to provide opportunities for apprenticeships, skills and training and investment in young people’s infrastructure and places where they can spend time including parks, open spaces and youth programmes. The plan also highlights poor pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and the need for public spaces for residents and visitors.

Photo Steven Collis

Ramsgate’s tourism economy is also the focus for improvements with suggestions for new hotels and possibly a spa at Townley House, finding ways to make people feel safer in the town, having events and festivals and seeing Ramsgate’s market return. Investment in inclusive mobility measures that will make Ramsgate more accessible for all are also included.

Using the town’s heritage to build a strong identity is also an aim  with the use of heritage assets to provide new business or cultural spaces and a suggestion for sharing information through more publications, podcasts and events and activities.

Photo Steven Collis

At the East Cliff suggestions include new green open space and wilding of the public realm, more cafes and publicly accessible toilets, renovating listed structures and finding opportunities to create a new beach club, open to everyone. Ramsgate Town Council has already worked on plans for a beach club and is investing in Radford House which will have community uses alongside town council business.

Other proposals include a new community cafe along the High Street and looking at opportunities to refurbish the Argos building as a cultural hub and accessible workspace, re-use of the Granville Theatre and further expansion at Ramsgate Tunnels – which is already happening through the work of the team at the Tunnels.

Projects have been split in categories ranging from immediate to long term and some are funded – such as Green Campus proposals for the Port and other schemes included in the Levelling Up Fund bid -while others are “aspirational.”

Karen Constantine

County Councillor representing Ramsgate, Karen Constantine, said: “I welcome this report, and the video and information associated with it, highlight the potential of a much brighter future for Ramsgate. I noted with interest the section on inclusivity, and I feel that this is one of the most important aspects, as much of Ramsgate is inaccessible to those in wheelchairs, using walking aids, mobility scooters, and of course pushchairs.

“So I hope that every aspect of this plan is genuinely inclusive for people with limited mobility. I hope that this access can be extended to ensuring, like many of our European cousins, people with disabilities can also gain access to the beach and the sea.

“To live in such a wonderful coastal area without this access is terrible. Not only does it disadvantage residents, but it also hampers tourism. If we made our beach and some see bathing areas accessible to those with disabilities it would also boost our tourism.”

To find the Ramsgate Town Investment Plan click here

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

52 Comments

  1. “new cafes, hotels and restaurants”

    How many more poncy eateries do we need ?

    Isnt the latest build on the pleasurama site also containing retail,hotals?

      • i didnt read it all, but does it mention the former motor museum,all the empty shps, or any thing other than more fancy places to eat that most of us will never visit

        • Steve, if you cannot afford the eating out then stay in with your telly dinners. You are also more than welcome to frequent the non-poncey places. 🤦🏻‍♂️

          • I have zero urge to waste money paying for overpriced food, i don’t drink, i have no interest in yet another bar, all we have on our seafront is bars, do we really need any more. as for TV dinners, yeah you know my life so well. No wait you don’t have a clue what my family eats, but most of us can’t afford to spend this amount of money when the basic food shopping bills are so high, Ok for your type though , and im only guessing of course.. but hey you enjoy what you do and spend your money where you want!

  2. i wonder how much of that figure will be left after ” consultations ” fees , expenses , meetings – bla bla bla , they will soon use this up before any “improvements” happen , and i totally agree with the above comment.

    • Try to be positive.Surely more eateries,restaurants and renovated historic buildings can only help the area and create work.Income can only be a good thing.
      Why do some people still want to live in the 1950s.

  3. Don’t forget the waterfall needs working on and lots of coloured lights around all the arches going up from the harbour. Plus £100 rewards for information about vandals and graffiti yobs names and addresses.

  4. It should not be around eating and drinking places. There should me more things for youngster’s to do!
    When I grew up in Ramsgate, there was an outdoor swimming pool, numerous youth clubs etc.
    The West Cliff at Ramsgate, Boating pool? The greens are unused, use to be small Golf Putting Greens.
    The Steets are not kept clean, and nothing is policed. TDC and Ramsgate Council are never accountable for how all our money is spent. How much did the gates at the end of Harbour Street cost?
    To me, any funds should be for the residents benefit and not business’s.
    Yes I have a long standing business in Ramsgate and passionate about its future!
    With a well structured community, business’s would benefit!

    • Both TDC and RTC are accountable to the people of Thanet and Ramsgate. It’s called “Democracy”
      I’ve no idea how much the gate cost, but it’s been very effective in keeping vehicles out of the pedestrian zone.
      Ramsgate has a number of street sweepers who work very hard, every day, clearing up the rubbish that residents and visitors drop.

  5. But no money or investment from Ramsgate Town Council, who recieve money from the people of Ramsgate. Strange.

  6. How much of the £600k grant will go to the town areas of the High St. ; King St.; Queen St. Sports Direct to close soon ; HSBC , Argos, and many others have all gone as the town is now devoid of shoppers due to expensive parking, Westwood X , business rates , traffic wardens , etc. Ramsgate needs to attract business people and encourage shoppers . One day maybe. Pigs may fly! It would be fantastic to see Ramsgate town thrive and only a radicle plan to get shops open and customers back may work

    • Dear Marva, I have lived in Ramsgate from birth ; 76 years ; and owned a shop and pubs in tow for almost 40 years . The town is a shadow of its past years sadly . It needs a boost with new ideas to regenerate it. Many try and give up. I doubt if you have lived in Ramsgate as long or own a shop

      • I have lived in Ramsgate for 10 years and have never owned a shop anywhere. That doesn’t stop me from seeing that Ramsgate, like pretty much everywhere else in Britain (the town near where I lived as a child, for example), must be very different now from what it was like decades ago.

  7. No point spending so much money when you can’t park anywhere close to town and seafront without it costing you a fortune?? No incentive to bring visitors to Ramsgate town

  8. There’s plenty of free parking in Ramsgate. More people should be coming here by bus- the Loop runs every 10 minutes, though somewhat disrupted at present.

    • Please tell people exactly where the free parking is in Ransgate, and, how far away it is from the centre. I really hope you give clear and concise locations.

    • The Loop helps people get to where the shops and business are open bar a few shops . Ramsgate has very little free parking if any at all. If you are happy with a ghost town then keep believing that it is a great place to trade. Many have tried and taken a loss . I dare say you are far to smart to take a shop on in town

  9. Great investment plans but more hospitality venues just means more low paid, seasonal work, more vulnerable to economic ups and downs. Town is down at heel – investment needs to improve streets and make the place more pleasant. Car parking charges ridiculous when you can park all day for free at Westwood Cross – if shopping is your thing. These issues need addressing. Good luck.

  10. Cars are a part of most peoples lives and Ramsgate is in desperate need of people / shoppers. Free parking at Westwood X . Nobody commenting seems to have a clue as how to save the town from becoming a no go area ; every shop that closes is akin to a nail in the coffin. How about some thoughts on how to regenerate the town . Or accept defeat and allow change of use to residential !

    • “Nobody commenting seems to have a clue as how to save the town from becoming a no go area”
      So as a commentator what do you suggest?

    • Simply not true. Lots of new shops and businesses opening and opened in the High St, for example. Even after the pandemic the town is better than ever. What kinds of businesses would you all want in 2021? You dont like DFLs, you dont like tourists, you dont like bars, restaurants and hotels. You dont like the shops that have opened. You want parking spaces but, what kind of shopping requires cars?

      • Rubbish. I am happy for dfl s , new shops, pubs , hotels etc to open. If you think the town has improved since the pandemic then I am amazed. Like many other towns it is an awful place with so many empty shops . I would love to see it packed with shops , pubs, and customers, sadly I dislike facing the reality of its demise but talking it up is futile

        • Yes, there are vacant premises. Sadly, that is not exclusive to Ramsgate. You can see that In Leeds, Brighton, Margate, Cardiff… but if you have not noticed all the independent shops and bussiness springing up in Addington St, High St then I suggest that you go out more and look around. Have you not seen the new flats and new pub in High St? Oh dear. Yes, Ramsgate has improved dramatically in the 17 years I have been here (I came from Notts, by the way). Sure, the pndemic plus TDC sagas and the economic crash did no favors to anybody, but the town is not the s*ithole some dooms and glooms pretend.

        • Ramsgate is not the awful place Keith Clark thinks it is. I wish people would spend more time walking around the town- it seems as if several of the people who post negative comments here are not familiar with the town at all .

          • i have lived in ramsgate 51 years, obviously the towns nothing like it used to be, but there really isnt much to see, poundland, a few other shops and some pubs. its pretty dead, and mainly occupied by the town drinkers and smackheads. as for the harbour, well thats grand if you have the money to spend in one of the dozemn or so posh cafes. theres nothing in the town worth visiting for

          • I reckon Steve is posting from the Isle of Bute. Or he is housebound and has not set foot in the town centre for 11 years…

          • i was in town last monday, lots of closed shops, very few people, stopped for a rooks, the highlight of my visit to the town, granted didnt see the usual homeless/smackheads and shoplifting types , but i was there early. but compared to 20/30 years ago there isnt any reason people would travel into it other than maybe the banks..ok and the red lion, cant fault being sat out the from in the summer enjoying a cold one, btu i quit drinking 10 years ago so thats not of interest either

  11. I do own businesses in town and I am appalled that it has become such an unfriendly place to trade. It requires radicle measures to attract businesses. Free limited time parking , business rates holiday, grants to improve shops. Removal of a lot of the yellow lines . If no action is taken then the remaining shops, pubs, banks etc will close. Sports Direct is following the likes of Argos, HSBC, McDonalds , to name a few that have vacated Ramsgate town

  12. Barclays
    Rookes
    Lloyd’s
    Boots
    Batlett and White
    Smith’s
    Halifax
    Waitrose
    Coop
    Peacocks
    Asda
    Aldi
    Tesco
    Iceland
    Haberdashers
    Taylor’s
    Post Office
    Apprentice
    Santander
    Simpsons
    Wilkos
    Jewllers
    Mobile phone repairs
    Newspaper shops
    Fishing tackle shops.
    Dry cleaners
    Pubs
    Cafes
    Restaurants
    Estate Agents
    Undertakers

    Ghost town?
    I don’t think so.

  13. The jewel in Ramsgate is the only Royal Harbour in the country so I hope some money will be used to repairs (trees and bushes growing out of the harbour walls). The harbour itself needs a deep clean and same for the rubbish in the inner harbour water. The rusty old barge is hardly a welcoming site. If its to be “done up) then move it from the prime site it is now until its been finished. Had relatives down in the summer they couldn’t stop laughing.

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