Next phase of works under way for Ramsgate’s Sailor’s Church, former Smack Boys Home, Pier Yard and Clock House projects

Ramsgate harbour and clock house Image HE Comms

The next phase of work on regeneration projects at Ramsgate’s Sailor’s Church and the former Smack Boys Home, Pier Yard and Clock House is taking place following the award of contracts worth some £500,000- including one for Walpole Bay – for ‘architectural and urban planning services and wider support roles.’

The Ramsgate projects are part of the levelling up scheme with Thanet council awarded £19.8m from government in 2021 for the Ramsgate scheme. An additional £6.3m was awarded for the Digital Margate campus project.

Curl la Tourelle, based in London, won contracts in March which include works related to the restoration and regeneration of Pier Yard, The Clock House and The Sailor’s Church and Former Home for Smack Boys.

The Smack Boys Home

Plans outlined in the Levelling Up bid included 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 and a refurbished clock tower building.

For the harbour project – including the town square proposal at Pier Yard car park –£9,388,300 is earmarked.

The bid document stated: “The Smack Boys addresses the lack of high end hotels in Ramsgate to support the town’s emergence as a more diverse visitor destination. The management model will provide new career pathways and training opportunities to residents.

Sailors’ Church

“A new fishing hub reinvigorates the Ramsgate fleet and supports the financial resilience of this community with much needed refrigeration infrastructure, which is currently absent. Provide space for a new high-end fish restaurant and linked fish market to drive the visitor economy and provide new training and employment opportunities.

“The Clock House refurbishment provides an important publicly accessible focal point for visitors and residents at the heart of the Royal Harbour, with a new space for local history and heritage and complementary restaurant. Outside the town square delivers a much needed pedestrian and child friendly space at the heart of the harbour as a community and visitor space.”

Curl la Tourelle says there will be conservation repair and remediation works to address a backlog of maintenance of defects to the Sailors Church and Smack Boys Home and remodelled facilities.

Ramsgate Maritime Museum (Clock House)

For Pier Yard Curl la Tourelle says: “We seek to reclaim Pier Yard as enhanced Public Realm space. Restoring Pier Yard to a largely pedestrianised outdoor space looking onto the newly developed Clock House Heritage Hub. The space will be reactivated with landscaping, commercial activities, and extending the Museum offering at The Clock House into the public realm to attract visitors to the Gateway to the Ramsgate Royal Harbour.”

Ramsgate Society proposal for the Clock House and Pier Yard

The firm adds: “The harbour-wide revitalisation will culminate in a joint community and commercial effort to restore and celebrate several of Ramsgate’s historical buildings. At the heart of this regeneration sits the Grade II* Listed Ramsgate Harbour Clock House, set as the anchoring point of the harbour and onward to the main sands within Pier Yard.

“Early design appraisals seek to return the heritage building into active and accessible use, with comprehensive repair and conservation works, whilst bringing the 19th Century building into the 21st century with ambitious sustainability standards including low energy use, waste minimisation, low carb emissions and green energy generation.”

The Clock House building will include extensions to give more space to the Maritime collection and a café/restaurant will be included.

Walpole Bay Photo Swift Aerial Photography

In May Curl la Tourelle has also won the contract as Architect/Lead Consultant) for the Walpole Bay project which has been allocated £1.1m under the £22m Margate Town Deal award.

The Walpole funds are for improvements to the tidal pool and surrounds, the steps, and reinstatement of the cliff lift plus the area in the immediate vicinity will be developed to include a cafe or kiosk.

Curl la Tourelle has been appointed to complete RIBA Stages 1-3. The stages are listed as  Preparation and briefing. 2 – Concept design. 3 – Spatial coordination.

Ramsgate Port Photo John Horton

Separately, Thanet council is seeking expressions of interest from commercial port operators to operate a substantial part of the Port of Ramsgate, including two roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) berths.

The move follows a decision made by the council in March to start a procurement exercise aimed at finding an operator to being ferry services back to the port.

The last ferry to operate from Ramsgate was TransEuropa Ferries which went bankrupt in 2013 and left Thanet council with £3.4 million in unpaid berthing fees.

A total of £3.5 million of the Levelling Up funding is earmarked for port infrastructure.

Cabinet members approved an option for a multi-purpose hybrid model offering a concession contract with a lease attached to it. Agreements with Brett Aggregates and wind farm operators would remain in place.

Brett Aggregates

The option means the council retaining the management of part of the Port, such as non-ro-ro traffic, with ro-ro cargo and traffic managed by a third party. There will be negotiations with Brett Aggregates about expanding on a further two acres of land. The existing aggregates site occupies two acres of land and is served by berth 4/5, which was replaced in 2022.

Drop in session

A drop-in session that will be held on Tuesday 18 July, between 2pm and 7pm, at the Crane Shed, Ramsgate Harbour (yellow building to the left of the toilet & shower block on the western crosswall).

There will be boards on display showing sketches of the proposed plans. Architects and designers will be on hand to answer questions.

Council takes next step in bid to attract cross-channel freight operator to Ramsgate Port

Details of £19.8 million Ramsgate ‘Levelling Up’ proposals published by Thanet council

Heritage Fund bid to be submitted for cafe and exhibition space project at Ramsgate’s Clock House

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  1. Hopefully these planners will consider public toilets in their plans. I’m quite happy paying something for clean facilities.

    • Oh come on margate gets sheds loads of cash. How much on your Turner centre 25 million of our taxes so far !

    • Margate’s Levelling Up Funding has all been given to the East Kent College Group. Over £6m of cash.

  2. The Winter Gardens is a dead duck. It is beyond economic repair. It has no commercial basis to operate even if you threw £4-6m at restoring it. But it’s located in a part of the world where voters believe in magic money trees and unlimited supplies of other people’s money.

  3. An operating port oh no M/J.D would have another thing to bring an end to with her hate for anything that would mean jobs for the area of Retirement only????

    • I think you’re a bit confused.
      Jenny Dawes has nothing against Ramsgate, economy or jobs per se.
      What she is keen to do is challenge the legality of the SoS’s decision to override the PINS decision not to award the Manston DCO.
      Tony Freudman himself has said that a successful operation at Manston would be to the detriment of Ramsgate, its residents, visitors and tourists.

    • I don’t see how anybody could describe Jenny Dawes as hating “anything that means jobs for the area”. She is one of many local residents who do not want the pollution and noise of a cargo airport to be inflicted on Ramsgate.

      • Jenny Daws is trying to save jobs, you morons! If Manston re-opened cargo aircraft would fly right over the clock tower, at less than 300 meters high, killing off all the vital hospitality businesses in Ramsgate Harbour, and the town! Anyone supporting the re-opening most probably don’t live in the CT11 postal district, who will be most effected, although all of Thanet would to some level, with noise and air pollution making property un-saleable!

        • Tourism industry won’t bring money to save ramsgate no one in there right mind would want to go on a holiday there hate to tell you that we are not in the Victorian times

  4. Good to see things happening round the harbour.
    The only thing that will spoil it is the accommodation barge for the immigrants when they put it next to the west pier.

    • “The only thing that will spoil it is the accommodation barge for the immigrants when they put it next to the west pier.”

      Except, Ramsgate is NOT getting an accommodation barge. I’d have a word with whoever told you that load of crud.

  5. The sailors church is a important and beautiful part of many historical in Ramsgate which needs to be upkeep good news let’s hope the council and police can clean up the mess with drug smoking drunk teenagers vile behaviour a complete let down to Ramsgate

  6. Will the new restaurants be cash-friendly?
    Or will they follow the snotty examples of Little Ships and Travellers in Italy and enforce a card-only policy?

    And can we have an assurance that these “high end” visitors will co-exist happily with the slipway and boat building operations that make Ramsgate harbour so special?

  7. Looking forward to seeing the Crane Shed displays.
    It’d be great to have fresh fish being sold on the harbour, could be linked to a general food market on the Pier Yard.
    Slipway and boat building not being mentioned is a worry – we need to keep them.
    Clock House refurb? Tanking the undercroft? Making the dry dock dry? Resolving Cervia, one way or the other. A coherant theme for the museum and exhibits to display?
    This all could be brilliant for the Town but TDC’s track record is very poor when it comes to contracting out and consultants.
    Getting local people on a project group would help avoid many pitfalls. But is Labour TDC brave enough?

    • If the slipway and boatbuilding are compromised then Ramsgate will lose its soul. It could become another Whitstable or Folkestone. We need to watch this very closely as it might be a social cleansing exercise in disguise.

      • “It could become another Whitstable or Folkestone.”

        You mean thriving with a bunch of outside investment, whilst being regularly touted in foreign countries travel guides for uk holidays?

        • Anon, does that mean it wouldn’t bother you if the working harbour became an ornament or if the local workers and occupants were displaced to make way for these high end outside investors?

    • “It’d be great to have fresh fish being sold on the harbour”

      They do out of the concession stand across from the Queens Head.

  8. I’m all for regeneration working alongside preservation, but what on earth is that glass monstrosity in front of museum? How to ruin a beautiful building in one east step.

  9. We should all be nice and positive, a consultant back in the 90’s wanted to build a cruise terminal in Pegwell Bay , plans are relatively cheap it’s the “doing “ that’s expensive.
    TDC have already wasted a shed load of money on the port, and all they have for their money is a travellers stop off.

  10. most of that money will be swallowed up on ” consultants ” fees , meetings and trips abroad to view similar schemes no doubt

  11. The floors above the church are currently the home of Ramsgates Sea Cadets. It’s wonderful organisation that contributes so much to the local youth. Yet there’s no mention of this in the plan. TDC have an obligation to find them a new home! We cannot allow this to destroy the unit!

    • One of the architects said about the Sea Cadets using the new Green Hub, I thought I had included that but perhaps didn’t

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