Kent Film Foundation submits fresh bid to buy Granville Cinema

The Granville

A community bid to take on the Granville Cinema in Ramsgate has now been submitted by the Kent Film Foundation.

The freehold for the building is owned by Thanet council, which took formal possession of the venue in May last year after the impact of covid left the Granville Theatre Ltd team – who had been running the site – with no option but to relinquish it. The venue had been shut since the start of the pandemic.

In October 2021 Thanet council invited expressions of interest from eligible community groups to become the new owners the theatre.

A submission from Kent Film Foundation was rejected as not meeting the relevant criteria.

The site was then put on the open market through Miles & Barr Commercial with all offers to be reviewed after the June 27 deadline. Thanet council says it will the assess those bids.

How the renamed Granville building could look in Kent Film Foundation’s proposal

Kent Film Foundation has today (June 25) submitted a 131-page rewritten business plan to support its proposal to redevelop the site– backed by a cash offer to buy the building.

The plan addresses the feedback the Foundation received since its previous bid was rejected and includes further developed proposals and supporting policies. It has been formally submitted to the authority’s appointed estate agent and its Deputy Leader Cllr Reece Pugh, in a last-ditch attempt to save the building from being taken from the local community.

Community support Photo Steven Collis

Also included are photos, videos, a petition and supporting statements documenting the thousands of local residents who have come out in support of the Foundation’s proposals over recent months.

Despite the rundown condition of the building, which was listed as an Asset of Community Value in 2019, members of the Kent Film Foundation say there is a wealth of potential and rebuild and refurb plans are ‘doable.’

A survey in 2017  identified some £152,000 would be required for internal works and, in addition, another £250,000 would be needed for roof repairs. The building has continued to deteriorate since that survey.

The KFF group wants to create a new arts centre with workshop space, cinema, theatre, a bee-friendly roof terrace, the town’s first organic restaurant – and a new name The Sandcastle.

Plans include workshop space to continue with youth film clubs and to create a new youth theatre and youth orchestra in partnership with Pie Factory music , increased cinema screens and new theatre space.

The plans for construction of the building are for a £3-£5million “Green Build” design and the scheme is expected to create at least 12 new permanent jobs alongside other employment and work-based learning opportunities, and contribute to  the local visitor economy.

Jan Dunn during a visit to the site

Founder of Kent Film Foundation and Filmmaker, Jan Dunn said: “On behalf of the Kent Film Foundation Trustees and team, I am grateful to the people of Ramsgate who have come out in droves to fight with us to keep hold of this wonderful asset and bring it back to life; to the ward and town councillors who have given us their time and support; and particularly to Cllr Pugh for his assurances that TDC will not just sell the building off to the highest bidder if a robust, viable and sustainable proposal to preserve it for the benefit of the community is put forward.

“Today, we have submitted that proposal, along with an offer to give TDC some money for it and a commitment to take responsibility for driving forward our plans to fund and oversee the building’s complete refurbishment to create a place that the people of Ramsgate can be proud of.”

Kent Film Foundation’s bid is being backed by numerous local organisations, such as Ramsgate Festival and the Ramsgate International TV and Film Festival, and is being supported by the Theatres Trust and the Cinema Collective.

KFF is inviting residents to join them and show support for the bid by gathering at the Granville Cinema tomorrow (June 26) from 2pm.

Granville Cinema’s sorry state – and Kent Film Foundation’s vision for it to become a town arts centre


  1. WE can only hope that with an experienced negotiator from Miles & Barr that will work in favour of both parties that this application is successful.

    Some will say let’s see the true grit of M&B who will not just think of a return for themselves by way of commission but may if the Kent Film Foundation are successful donate the if not some of their commission to this worthwhile project that will benefit the whole of Thanet.

  2. On the go fund me page they have reached £913 so only another £9,087 to go.

    Do they have funds to do the work or is it just the 913 quid.

  3. I hope Kent Film Foundation s bid is successful as it would hopefully keep the Granville Theatre operating and improve this decaying building. We have lost so many theatres and businesses in Ramsgate through a lack of foresight and lack of maintenance that it would be unforgivable to lose another.

  4. Good time to buy that building, which will need a few £ quid spent on it.

    Yes the levelling up, high st funds, gov grants (other free money) is usually available.

    Great opportunity, go for it before it becomes a hairdressers/barbers/massage/spa/nails/gym type of place with a 24hour drinks & dance club on the roof.

    Cant wait !

  5. I visited it often as it was good value but it was so run down and damp.

    I hope the KFF bid is successful

  6. 1) Cinemas generally continue to thrive whilst Netflix is now losing millions of subscribers, investors and employees.
    2) The Granville is not in this sorry state because people didn’t use it. Quite the reverse. People didn’t use it because TDC failed to maintain it and let it deteriorate into this sorry state. Who wants to sit in a darkened room for 2hrs breathing in black mold and fungus spores?
    3) PC: Not sure what you mean by people didn’t use it “because they’re from Ramsgate”. Please explain for the benefit of us Ramsgatians.
    4) £2-3m needed sounds realistic. Lots of free government money available does not. Levelling Up Funds are already allocated, Towns Funds went to Margate, only £1.15m Shared Prosperity Funds allocated to the whole of Thanet, (or, as TDC calls it, “Margate”).
    Whoever buys The Granville will need significant private investment to get it back in use. Does KFF have this?

    • Reply to Peter Checksfield- I am not “speaking for myself” when I say that the ex-motor museum is a dangerous wreck. It is what the structural and civil engineers who carried out a survey in 2014 said,though not in those exact words and in great detail.

  7. The new company have great plans and I think they will succeed, unfortunately TDC we know will put so much agro their way they will eventually pull out. Another tdc failure to follow their long list of failures

  8. This sounds just like manston airport

    Needs loads of money spending on it yet no knows who’s putting the money in.

  9. Born in Ramsgate. The wartimes tunnel enterprise has been successful and so will this if TDC give the go ahead, seems to be obstacles are being deliberately put in the way. Please do everything to save it, I agree with Keith Clark. People will return to Thanet if locals do not allow this destruction to continue.

Comments are closed.