21 dates and events coming up in Thanet for 2023

Some dates for the diary for Thanet 2023

GMB members in the ambulance service will take industrial action on  January 11.

GMB union members at ambulance service trusts across the country, including South East Coast ambulance service, will take the  action over the Government’s imposed 4 per cent pay award – which they say is another massive real terms pay cut.

Stagecoach will run a three month trial with passengers paying no more than £2 for a single journey as part of the Department for Transport’s new fares initiative. Stagecoach will run the pilot from January 1 until March 31.

‘Snow’ in Margate for Empire of Light filming Photo Frank Leppard

Movie Empire of Light – filmed in Margate between the end of February and end of May this year – will be screened at cinemas including The Palace in Broadstairs and the Carlton in Westgate. The film, a love story based in the 1980s, stars Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward and Colin Firth. The 1980s-set love story also stars Toby Jones, Tom Brooke, Hannah Onslow, Tanya Moodie and Crystal Clarke.

Locations used included Margate’s main seafront road, the beach, the Old Town, Cliftonville, and Darcy’s Café.

A new film map will highlight the venues and locations that were used during filming and the scenes in which they featured, alongside key areas of interest in each town.


Royal Harbour Academy (upper site)

Thanet’s Coastal Academies Trust – which covers Cliftonville Primary, Hartdown, King Ethelbert and Dane Court Grammar schools – has been chosen by the Department for Education to take over responsibility the Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate from Kent County Council. The transfer is due to take place on  January 1.

Thanet council Photo Frank Leppard

Thanet council’s 2023/24 budget will go before Cabinet members on 12 January 2023 and then go to full council for approval in February.

The budget will include council tax rates for 2023/24 and fees and charges – such as for parking.

Thanet council receives 12p for every £1 of council tax paid by residents. The rest goes to Kent County Council, Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and town and parish authorities.

The budget  is made up of Council Tax, income including  fees and charges, retained Business Rates and Government funding.

The Comfort Inn Ramsgate, which is under new ownership, will be closing for refurbishment in February and reopening back as San Clu Hotel, Bar and Brasserie in March.

This will not affect any bookings for any events or accommodation.

Manston airport Photo Frank Leppard

A Development Consent Order for an air freight hub at the Manston airport site was redetermined and granted by government, again.

A Development Consent Order granting approval for the air freight hub was initially granted in July 2020 but quashed in February 2021 following a Judicial Review challenge by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes.

A new decision then had to be issued after a re-examination of the Planning Inspectorate evidence.

In August fresh approval was issued by Transport Minister, Karl McCartney MP.

The DCO approval is once again the subject of a judicial review bid by Ms Dawes. If permission is granted, the hearing should take place no later than six months after the claim was issued, which would be by March 2023.


Benefits and pensions

The Government is increasing benefits in line with inflation. This means that they will rise by September Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation – 10.1% from April 2023.

Pensioners in Great Britain will receive a 10.1% increase to their State Pension in April 2023 under the triple lock.

Per week, a full basic State Pension will increase from £141.85 to £156.20, and the new State Pension will increase from £185.15 to £203.85.

In April 2023, the government will also increase the benefit cap in line with inflation by 10.1%. The benefit cap will rise from £20,000 to £22,020 for families nationally, outside of Greater London.

Lower caps for single households without children will rise from £13,400 to £14,753 nationally (higher for Greater London).

From 1 April 2023, the National Living Wage (NLW) will increase by 9.7% to £10.42 an hour for workers aged 23 and over.

Young people and apprentices on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will also see a boost to their wages. Rates will be increased for people aged 21-22 by 10.9% to £10.18 an hour, for those aged 18-20 by 9.7% to £7.49 an hour, for 16-17 year olds by 9.7% to £5.28 an hour, and for Apprentices by 9.7% to £5.28 an hour.

The energy cap, which fixes the cost of energy, will rise from £2,500 to £3000 (average) from April.

Granville theatre and cinema Photo Frank Leppard

Granville Theatre owner Westwood One Ltd – which also operates Under 1 Roof Thanet in Pysons Road and Under 1 Roof Canterbury – hopes to re-open the theatre in April.

The company is headed up by Ramsgate sisters Zahra and Parisa Tarjomani and Pyramid Martial Arts & Just Kids Parties owner Matt Milchard.

The trio are proposing to return the building to one auditorium – as was the case in the 1940s – with  a 600+ seater capacity, full regeneration of the theatre space, a sea view café and bar, exhibition space, co-working space, workshop and education space.

Dickens House Photo Frank Leppard

2023 marks the 50th anniversary since Dickens House Museum opened on Broadstairs seafront. The house was once the home of Miss Mary Pearson Strong on whom Charles Dickens based much of the character of Betsey Trotwood, in his novel David Copperfield. The museum commemorates the novelist’s association with Broadstairs, with the house containing memorabilia, pictures, letters and items that once belonged to Charles Dickens plus displays of Victoriana and costumes of the time.

A new walking trail will be launched, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Dickens House Museum . The trail will start and end at museum, highlighting the author’s connections to Broadstairs, and will be available from April when the museum opens for the season.


Hartsdown pool will reopen

The swimming pool at Hartsdown Leisure Centre in Margate is expected to reopen in May 2023 – more than a year after it was shut due to damage caused in Storm Eunice.

The storm in February 2022 resulted in roof damage at the pool building and this then “created further complex required works due to its construction.”

Image Network Rail

Passenger services from Thanet Parkway station are expected to begin in May 2023.

The station will be served by both mainline and high-speed trains and will include two platforms that will be able to accommodate 12-car trains.

There will be ticket machines, waiting shelters, parking for 293 vehicles, bus stops, pick-up and drop-off zones, electric charging points, hearing loops, cycle storage, CCTV, seating, landscaping works and passenger help points to provide remote assistance for those who need it.

Local elections are scheduled to be held on 4 May. This is when residents can go to the polls to vote for those competing for district, town and parish council seats.

The Coronation of King Charles III will take place on Saturday 6 May 2023. As a result, Monday 8 May will be an extra bank holiday.

Photo Frank Leppard

Margate Winter Gardens is shut for the venue to undergo an “option appraisal.”

The Grade II listed building hosted its last performance on August 7 before the lease was returned by then-operator Your Leisure to Thanet council and the doors were shut to the public in readiness for  surveys which will be used to determine the building’s future.

Thanet council is using Margate Town Deal funding of £300,000 to create a plan for the site which includes building surveys, a legal report, a night time economy report with options for the Winter Gardens use and marketing packs to attract commercial investors and/or operators.

The authority plans for reports to be complete by March 2023, when it will begin to market the venue, and expects to hold an open day for prospective operators in April. The aim is to have a recommendation for the site’s future brought to council Cabinet members by June.

Number 42 GuestHouse Margate will open next June

Boutique hotel group GuestHouse Hotels will open their new site -No.42 –in June at the former Sands building in Margate High Street/Marine Drive.

No 42 is the third GuestHouse hotel with No.1 by GuestHouse in York and No.15 by GuestHouse in Bath.

Sands closed in June this year with around 30 redundancies. It was sold for £2.8million to GuestHouse owners, brothers Tristan, James and Tom Guest.

Ramsgate Regatta in action Photo Brian Whitehead

The dates for the annual Ramsgate Week Regatta will move from July to August, taking place between August 7-11.

The Round the Goodwins race is also to have a date change and will be separate from the Regatta.

Sites put forward following the call by Thanet council last year (image TDC)

The sites deemed suitable as potential areas for development or open spaces in the renewed Local Plan will be confirmed in September. .

Last year the council launched a ‘Call for Sites’ in which developers, landowners and members of the public were invited to put forward potential land for development.

The authority was looking for sites for housing, self/custom building, Gypsy and Traveller sites, employment space, retail, nature conservation and biodiversity offset sites and open/green spaces.

In response more than 200 plots were submitted which have been listed on the council website. These will be assessed against the needs in Thanet’s Local Plan review on criteria including suitability, availability and viability for the purpose proposed.

Thanet District Council has suggested two sites to be considered for affordable housing.

In September 2023, some of those sites will be deemed suitable for use and there will be a chance for members of the public to comment and share their views.

The Thanet Local Plan was adopted on 9 July 2020. It is a blueprint for development in the district up to 2031 but the review is for a partial update to cover the isle’s needs to 2040.

The plan sets out how much development is needed to support the future population and economy.

Also coming up in 2023

Progress is expected to be made for projects that are part of the Levelling Up and Margate Town Deal funds

Approval to commence procurement and to appoint contractors for projects under the Ramsgate Future Levelling Up Fund/ Future High Street Fund/s and Margate Town Deal is due to be confirmed in the first quarter of the year.

The Levelling up fund awarded £6,306,078 for the Margate Digital project and £19,840,000  for the Ramsgate Future scheme.

Ramsgate  Photo Frank Leppard

Plans for a ‘Green Port’ projected to create 800 jobs, a Green Hub training centre for apprenticeships and training, hospitality and fishing fleet proposals and community kitchens are outlined in the £19.8million Ramsgate Future scheme.

The Levelling Up bid for Ramsgate includes proposals to create a training hotel and restaurant at the Smack Boy’s building at Ramsgate harbour, a brasserie and a fishing facility for the local fleet to store and sell catch from; a new town square on the current pier yard car park, a refurbished clock tower building and two community sites in Newington and Ramsgate with training kitchens, community teaching.

Margate Digital Image Lee Evans Partnership

Margate Digital, for a specialist industry-focused centre at the old M&S building in Margate High Street, was given planning approval earlier this year.

Theatre Royal Photo Sheradon Dublin

The Margate Town Deal £22.2 million fund is for projects including works to the Theatre Royal including urgent works costing £370,000 for minor roof repairs, removal of the asbestos stage curtain, and fire protection measures and the provision of a proper ventilation system.

Once the urgent works have been completed, the next step will be to complete other structure works including; window repairs and decorations, plastering in lime plaster where plaster has failed, and ceiling repairs to the value of £400,000.

The Theatre Royal and 19 Hawley Square will be marketed as a package to find an operator/commercial partner.

Other projects include:

£6.9m  Creative Land Trust – to provide safeguarded affordable workspace with high-quality digital connectivity; free enterprise space for young people; further and higher education; centres for digital and theatrical production; civil society activities; and a permanent cultural centre focused on the black and brown community.

£2.3m Walpole Bay Lift – Grade II Listed Walpole Bay Lift and clifftop space to be fully functional again

£500k Oval Bandstand and Lawns – Create a pavilion, reconfigure the bandstand area so it is a 360 space – a “theatre in the round”. There will also be wildflower meadows, lawns, a mini wetland, a mini-forest, and paths lined with wildlife-friendly plants to create a “coastal eco-park” alongside artworks, social and activity spaces.

£750k Skatepark earmarked for the former putting green at Ethelbert Terrace. Input includes £100k from Tracey Emin and £59k from Thanet council

The Theatre Royal (£2m) and Winter Gardens (£300k) projects.

The site off Reading Street Road

An application to build 74 homes on land off Reading Street Road which was refused by Thanet council will be heard at appeal.

Residents have until January 16 to submit their views on the proposal to build on 5.06 hectares of agricultural land between Broadstairs and St Peter’s. The site is within a designated ‘green wedge.’

Prospective developer Land Allocation Ltd has appealed to the Secretary of State to overturn Thanet council’s decision to reject the plan.

The Planning Inspectorate will determine the appeal in the first half of 2023.

Representations can be made on the Planning Inspectorate site, appeal case reference 3304235, at:


Ramsgate market Photo Maxine Morgan

Thanet council says Ramsgate’s market is expected to be back up and running by next Spring.

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.

Photo Brian Whitehead

Royal Sands development on Ramsgate seafront of 106 luxury apartments, a 60-bed hotel, leisure facilities, restaurants and shops will move onto the final phases.

Leisure and retail units on the promenade have the first tenants already signed up, including Destefano Italian Gelato Café and the final phase will be the 60-bed hotel with work starting on the build in 2023.

And, of course, so many events we can’t mention them all but including carnivals, Margate Soul Festival, Broadstairs Folk Week, Minster Show, Thanet 5K Colour Run, food festivals, Ramsgate Festival of Sound and Ramsgate Week and more.



  1. A full basic State Pension will increase from £141.85 to £156.20, and the new State Pension will increase from £185.15 to £203.85. Why the disparity.? So as they get older they don’t need as much to pay the Gas, Electric, Property Tax, Light and heat etc. This is a joke. Who else can live on the basic state pension even if a woman was entitled to the full basic pension this would still only be £312.40. For a single pensioner this is £8122.40 this is way below a personal allowance. An MP Receives a minimum of £60k pa A newly qualified Nurse receives a minimum of £12k. A Train driver receives £60k the list goes on. I repeat a pensioner receives £8122.40 where is the justification.? Like a company the government need to put more into the pension pot.

  2. The disparity is caused by the change in pension ages.Instead of getting your pension at 60 for women and 65 for men,it’s heading to 68 for both.Of course if you want to give back the pension you have received it might be possible for you to have the higher rate.Also you had the bus pass earlier and this govt wants to change the age for free prescriptions.
    Now talking of fairness,how much have nurses, doctors.ambulance staff, railway staff,postie’s and just about everyone else been offered or received? Was it 10.1%? No,more like 3%.
    Stop whining and be grateful that the young are yet again making sacrifices to keep you,warm,fed and housed.

  3. By the way a single pension on only the state pension qualifies for pension credit,a 25% cut in council tax and other additional benefits.
    Stop bleating contact citizens advice and ask their advice.
    As a pensioner still working, hearing moans from angry old people about their dues is more than disappointing.
    It’s time to give thanks to the NHS,to those who came before us who made the welfare state possible and to the young who pay the taxes to save us from destitution.We have a lot to be thankful for,

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