Thanet council Cabinet members due to discuss future of Ramsgate market

Ramsgate market Photo Maxine Morgan

Thanet council Cabinet members will discuss proposals for securing a new operator for the Ramsgate outdoor market at a meeting on June 16.

Members will also consider removing street trading and hawking restrictions on the High Street, King Street and Queen Street.

If approved by Cabinet, the council would request tenders for the provision of market operator services for a weekly (subject to planning permission) or monthly outdoor market in the town centre. The tender opportunity would be marketed via the Kent Business Portal.

Thanet council says two potential locations have been identified as suitable for a market: Ramsgate High Street and/or Westcliff Promenade Green. Other locations could also be considered.

The council will charge a fee of £250 per market, meaning an annual income of between £3,000 to £13,000 depending on whether markets are held monthly or weekly.

The town centre, Friday market shut when covid restrictions were brought in during March 2020. It briefly reopened in June of that year but issues around placement meant the market closed again. A new site proposed for Pier Yard car park on the seafront was scuppered at the 11th hour.

Traders were then given the go-ahead to use Staffordshire Street car park, taking space in several disabled parking bays. But there was a drop in traders taking part on Fridays and none willing to set up for business at the site on Saturdays.

The low number of stalls meant falling income, with then-operator Hughmark making a decision to cease trade in the town.

In October 2020 Thanet council said there were plans to create a new Canterbury style format with gazebos and themed days and the market contract would go out to tender.

But there has been no return of the market since that date.

A soft marketing exercise in January of this year only received one expression of interest.

Cabinet members are expected to approve the removal of Street Trading and Hawking restrictions and agree to the tendering process to go ahead.


  1. Of course we should have a market. It is a no brained and it benefits the whole town, shops and traders alike.

    Why are the basics so hard for TDC?

      • And Cliftonville has a superb farmers’ market and regularly has 40 stalls. Much bigger than when it was on the Oval Lawns, before it was ousted by the new group.

        • I disagree the new location is very poor I have mobility issues and the field is not good for me, no toilets either. The market quality has definitely decreased more craft stalls which takes away from what actually is ment to be a farmers market.

          • I dont know which farmers market you go to but I go to Cliftonville every month and out of the 35 stalls last month they had one craft stall.
            It is not their fault the new landlords ousted them after 20 years. We were lucky the market manager was able to find the new site.
            I am sure THEY would have preferred to stay where they were, after all they CRA were the group that found the funding for the bandstand that is there now not that many years ago.
            You don’t have to shop there if you think it has changed.
            I think you will find the 100″s who shop there would disagree with you.
            I have been to many farmers markets in Kent and Cliftonville which has been running for over 20 years, is one of the few who are predominantly food, drink and plants.
            Most of the other markets do have lots of craft stalls.

          • I am sorry Sue B, that the site is not easier for those with mobility issues. We do not have any hard standing unfortunately.
            I had a real battle with the Estates Dept., at TDC to find a new home for the market.
            They (TDC) now charge us £250 per month to hold our ‘not for profit’ community run market.

            It is run by volunteers from the CRA who give their time for free.

            I have tried to get portaloos instated, but up to now nothing has happened.
            We are very strict about craft stalls, but do allow on occasion charity stalls.
            We are affiliated to Kent Farmers’ Market Association and if you go on this link you will be able to access every Farmers’ market in Kent

            I have 40 stalls booked in for this month and that includes one craft stall.

            Last month, just under a thousand people came to shop.

            For the record, we have won 9 prestigious awards in our 20 years, 6 for ‘Best Farmers’ Market’ in Kent and 3 Pride in Thanet Awards.

            I do hope Ramsgate get their market back.

  2. We would love to see a market, similar to portobello rd in Addington st., even once a month would be a great start!

  3. It was fine as it was with plants, fruit and veg, baker, meat etc. Would be great to see street food, underwear, antique stalls etc. The more the merrier!

  4. What has it to do with TDC we have our own Ramsgate council what’s the point of having both councils.

    • A very valid question that deserves an answer.

      In 1974 the town councils were disbanded in favour of a district council to produce greater efficiencies.

      Slowly but surely, many functions have been devolved back to the town because TDC has proved itself to be incapable of providing basic effective functions, services and facilities at a reasonable cost.

      Ramsgate has had a town council for some time and there are now proposals for Margate to go the same way.

      Need I say more ?

  5. The town council has about 15 employees, a budget of under £1m and has no obligation to do anything except manage statutory allotments, although it does many useful things for the town. The district council has a budget of £17m, employs about 400 and provides housing, waste collection, environmental health, planning and licensing services – none of which the town could conceivably do or is responsible for by law.

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