‘Filthy gorgeous’ ball fundraiser in aid of Sugar Rush and Stage Door Arts bid to secure Ramsgate’s former HSBC bank

Heidi (bottom) is holding fundraising shows for the Sugar Rush and SDA move to the former bank site in Ramsgate

A bid to raise £15,000 by Ramsgate business Sugar Rush and Stage Door Academy continues with a gala ball at Ramsgate Music Hall this Friday (March 31).

The performing arts school and community café in the High Street is moving to the former HSBC bank on the corner of King Street due to its current site being earmarked for demolition and redevelopment.

But SDA and Sugar Rush, owned by Ramsgate mum Heidi Moran, has to raise £15,000 to be able to take on the lease for the new site.

Sugar Rush also provides performance, rehearsal, meeting space, music and office rooms, hot desks, baby and children classes, community social groups and more.

Sugar Rush in Ramsgate

It is hoping to add to that offering once moved by setting up The Vault, a speakeasy style club and performance space in the old bank.

The latest fundraising event to help reach the target is The Filthy/Gorgeous Ball and Charity Auction at the music hall in Turner Street.

The event will include cabaret, live music and a DJ and runs from 7pm until late.

Tickets from £5 and a dress code to wear “your most gorgeous get up for a night of absolutely filthy entertainment.”

All ticket sales, collection and auction money goes directly to Sugar Rush & SDA CIC funds to secure and renovate the new building.

Recent events included a Sugar Rush social event last Saturday afternoon and Inner Magic DIY Pride by the Seaside at the Elephant and Castle pub that evening.

The Saturday prior to that there was a Hard Candy Drag Night with Venus Domain, Cheryl Shots, Peachy Kween, Jelly Bean Blue and Miss Oatie T taking to the stage.

Sadly, the drag night provoked some abuse on social media directed as some of the audience and performer Miss Oatie T being under 18.

Miss Oatie T is the stage name for 13-year-old Miles Pullman from Broadstairs. Mum Nicola said the Sugar Rush venue is a safe space and she is always with Miles for performances.

She added: “Miles always performs for an audience for charity, Pride or for family and friends. Miles performs, choreographs his dance, sets his own music, creates his own look and his own makeup. There are not many 13 year olds capable of doing half of what he achieves.

“There is no difference in him performing in a safe space as a drag queen as when he has performed at world level street dance.

“There will always be haters  but the love and support this generation needs will always outweigh this hate.

“The queens we have been fortunate enough to meet have been inspiring , amazing and help myself as a mum and Miles. We know many of the big queens, the Ru girls and local queens, and they always look after us both.

“I want all my children to be happy, what I don’t want is my child to be that person 6ft tall crying on someone else’s shoulder saying I wish my mum and dad would have accepted me. That is heart-breaking.”

Heidi, from Sugar Rush, says trolling will not deter inclusiveness at the venue. She said: “We are an inclusive venue and want to be a safe space for all. Our aim is for everybody to feel like they belong and have a place to express themselves.

“We run theatre, music, poetry, drag events and more to include all, LGBTQ+, neurodiverse, disabled, everybody……. We have drag queen story time, this is no different from panto dames and teaches acceptance and fun to all ages.

“Our drag show was a family event fundraiser, with lip syncing, Disney songs and dancing. It was hosted and performed by up and coming queens, put together by The Venus Domain aged 18.

“My daughter Matilda age 12 attended and has attended various drag and pride events all through her life. We regularly go to Brighton and Margate Pride. She watches drag race and loves it all. She has been in pantomime since five years of age. She is very accepting of everybody’s choices and yet it hasn’t made her feel pressured into changing who she is or anything inappropriate for her age.”

Tickets for the ball at Ramsgate Music Hall can be bought at https://www.outsavvy.com/…/the-filthygorgeous-ball…

Sugar Rush fundraising page

There are also money tins behind the bar/counter at: The Horse & Groom, The Bedford, The Artillery Arms, The Honeysuckle & Sugar Rush.

Developer gets green light to demolish Ramsgate High Street building and replace with 5 shops and 39 flats


  1. not more of this old cr*p again , why not centre it all in margate , it will make it easier to avoid , and they can drag that old barge around there at the same time

  2. I’d like a massive shop (in this case, a former bank costing £40,000 per year for rent alone). So my plan is to say I want this one, but then hold my hand out for free handouts, because I need £15,000 simply to secure the lease. (Landlords sometimes require three months rent as deposit, plus the first months rent – and then there’s the legal fees too).

    Thing is, its a bank! So it will certainly need even more money to be spent on it for refurbishment costs, and as its obviously not laid out as a retail/open space, this will be expensive. Plus of course while renovations are taking place, the bills will still be coming in! So that’s even more rent, business rates, gas and electricity bills, telephone, broadband, PL/buildings/contents insurance, alarms, cctv, refuse (as its not included in business rates as it is for council tax).

    All I am saying is if she finds it impossible to provide £15,000 simply to secure the lease on this building, how the hell is she going to find all the other ongoing costs, especially before she can even open to the public?! This will be a cash cow and will haemorrhage money, so expect continuous crowdfunding exercises after this one…..

    • You set out a fair list of issues Heidi will face. I wonder what the business plan is, costings and schedules? I’d love the old HSBC building to be the new home of Sugar Rush – it would add massively to this crossroads environment and also to our community.
      It’s brilliant that Rams has such people prepared to innovate and commit to improving lives.

      • It’s just so sad, Steve and Ray The Bread attack the project based on what? That they don’t like people who want to bring joy to others? So Heidi talks about kids with difficulties in being accepted for what they are or confusion over what social tradition expects them to be. She clearly wants young people to have the confidence to be happy! Why is that such a threat to some people?
        Come on guy’s, live and let live.

        • Garry ,not attacking the thought just ,no business plan, if she is not willing to put her own money up ,she might ,but I doubt it ,the business cannot be good,all she wants is a public hand out ,all the time ,it’s maybe a good idea ,but obviously not a business person ,if the bank won’t lend or advance the money ,then ,it is a risky business,that’s all

  3. I agree ,where is the business plan ,all I see ,is they want a hand out from the public,so if,they get it,(£15000),what happens in the following years ,keep asking the public, for a handout ,same as Margate school ,both have NO,business plans

  4. What is it with business’s asking for donations all the time! If it is not self funding it is not a viable business, stop asking for people to prop up your business.

    Also the woman that runs it has her house on the market for over £500,000 so why not use some of that money and put your money where your mouth is so to speak! If you were so sure you could make a success of this business you would have no issue in taking equity out of your house, so why isn’t she………

    She is clearly out of her depth and not willing to use her own capital, so why should others prop it up? The bank is far too big a building and it you are not prepared to use the equity from your house then close shop. STOP asking others to help when you are not prepared to put your hand in your own pocket and use the money you have. Or are you giving away equity in the business for these donations?

  5. And also, the problem with going after a former bank is that it needs renovation works – far more than a normal shop or offices do – to turn it from bank mode/layout. The landlord does nothing. So the first tenant is lumbered with paying for the work needed and once the first tenant closes down, the landlord is given a nice refurbished building which cost him/her nothing to renovate!

    That’s probably why nobody wants this building because it’s not just the leasing costs, it’s also the refurbishment costs too. The building looks nice from the outside, but that’s irrelevant to the costs involved to be viable.

    And as I’ve already alluded to, if the prospective tenant can’t even find the deposit just to secure the lease, what chance has she got of finding the money to renovate these premises while she cannot even open to the public? So more crowdfunding….and more crowdfunding after that for running costs and bills accrued between securing the lease to opening and getting enough people through the doors to make money. It’s a money pit pure and simple.

  6. The Isle of Thanet News subscribes to regulator IMPRESS. Code 4.3 says “Publishers must not encourage hatred or abuse against any group based on their characteristics” so please bear this in mind when commenting

    • Steve

      Your point on graffiti will be interesting as the government says it will crack down on graffiti and want it cleaned off within 48hrs lol.

      Cant wait for the out cry when a councils start clearing of bankys graffiti from the arty community lol.

  7. New home for stage door arts???

    Companies house records:
    Formed January 2015
    Since then all accounts have been filed as ‘dormant company’
    So in the words of dragons den – ‘I’m out’

  8. It doesn’t matter if you’re a CIC, a charity, a business masquerading as a charity, a not-for-profit, or a commercial business.

    Getting a shop/retail premises/ex-bank is done is stages. The first stage is getting the lease, so negotiating with the landlord and paying a deposit (can be 3 months rent) and the first month’s rent as well as legal costs.

    The second stages will be all the utility bills starting, as well as insurance costs, business rates, cctv, refuse. The third stages are renovation costs – and as she is the very first tenant of this bank, it will be up to her to spend a lot of money to transform the building into something which does not resemble a bank (all at no cost to the landlord, but the landlord will benefit because he/she will be left with a converted retail building and all for free!!).

    The fact is if she cannot fund the very FIRST stage of simply securing the lease, how will she pay for all of the subsequent stages? I think that’s a fair thing to say. Most businesses may ask for help but usually when adding something later on, not at the very first stage of getting a lease. I fear this will be a continued and sustained exercise of always asking for money for each and every stage of the evolution of this business. She’s ensuring she ticks boxes so she will probably get her first stage of likeminded individuals. But will they be prepared to keep putting their hands into their pockets forever?

  9. I wonder if Heidi could arrange a public meeting where she could present her plans and examples of the work Sugar Rush has done to date. If she did I’d challenge every negative IoTN commenter to attend so they could ask their questions and get answers from her rather than making up stories that fit their views.

    On Heidi’s house equity I feel I have to comment. I have no idea where this evidence came from but, even if it is true that she could use her house as equity, she’d be bonkers to risk it. However successful Sugar Rush has been they have to move because their landlrd basically evicted them to make loads of money from building flats. With this in mind who would take the risk of losing a business and their family home all in one go!
    Crown funding and asking the community for help is a brilliant thing. If you want to help you can, if you don’t no one’s forcing you.
    If Sugar Rush can set up in the HSBC site what harm will it do to anyone? Conversly I think it will add significant benefits to our town centre as well as our community. My point being, let’s see it happen. Help if you want and don’t help if you’d rather not. But don’t piss all over the concept for the sake of it.

    • No one is saying anything ,but where is the business plan,or do you not need one these days,it comes across as why risk my money when I can spend yours

      • Heidi already has an operation. She used being forced to move due to the Landlord choosing to allow the building to be demolished and turned into flats and retail that don’t suit the area.

        Complain to the landlord

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