Architectural Heritage Fund charity award of £77,300 to Pugin Studios project in Ramsgate

Matthew Mckeague, CEO of the Architectural Heritage Fund, with Bernie Morgan and Rob Kenton from Heritage Lab

A project to refurbish the historic site Pugin’s Granville Hotel in Ramsgate for exhibitions, community events, shared working and conferences has been granted £77,300 from the Architectural Heritage Fund.

The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity that since 1976 had worked to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK.

The additional funding provides a boost to plans by Ramsgate community interest company Heritage Lab, to create the spaces at the site.

Matthew Mckeague, CEO of the Architectural Heritage Fund, said: “It gives us great pleasure to have awarded Heritage Lab a grant towards essential development work to enable the purchase of Pugin’s Chambers. This is phase one of an exciting restoration project that will significantly benefit Ramsgate, and we are delighted to be supporting.”

Rob Kenyon, CEO & Founder, Heritage Lab, CIC, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The more we raise from grants and donations, rather than borrowing, the cheaper space will be for artists and the community, that’s why we will also be launching a crowdfunding campaign in the autumn, details of which we will release over the coming weeks.”

Heritage Lab had agreed to buy the 999-year leasehold to the seafront Granville Bars Pugin’s Studios in 2019. Currently unused and in a state of disrepair, the former hotel building forms part of the Historic England at Risk Conservation area and Ramsgate’s Heritage Action Zone. The aim is to create a creative hub and events space called Pugin’s Studios. The original hotel bedrooms have long been converted for private residential use and do not form part of the project.

The building has a series of spectacular, but derelict, sea facing public rooms. The plan is to use these to create low to no-cost space for community and voluntary groups to hold large events, room for the town’s creative industries, and to create 100 jobs and apprenticeships.

In May the scheme was granted £300,000 in government funding and the team were visited by then- Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution, Neil O’Brien MP.

Bernie Morgan, Chair Heritage Lab CIC said: “This latest funding award is invaluable in delivering on the Pugin’s Studios project. We can’t wait to get this amazing architectural gem reopened and back to having a productive future and once again be the focal point for the community.”

Mike Galloway, Chairman of The Pugin Society, added: “The Pugin Society congratulates the Heritage Lab Community Interest Company for obtaining a major grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund.

“The Granville was one of Edward Welby Pugin’s major secular designs and an unforgettable landmark on Ramsgate’s East Cliff. We greatly look forward to visiting the restored public rooms at the end of this ambitious project.”

Anyone interested in helping with the project, making a donation or being kept up to date, can register at