Workspace, restaurant/cafe, bar and performance venue plan for former Age and Sons building in Ramsgate

New plans for the Age and Sons building in Charlotte Square

Heritage Lab Community Interest Company is the new owner of the Old Wine Warehouse (Age & Sons) in Charlotte Court.

The company says it aims to return the building, which has been shut for nine years, to public use for enterprise, arts and entertainment, supporting local talent.

Last used as Age and Sons restaurant and before that as a martial arts club, the building will reopen as a creative co-working space, restaurant/café, performance venue and speakeasy/bar.

The site was formerly a Victorian wine warehouse of the family run Page & Sons, which is still in family business in Ramsgate after 220 years.

It then spent several years as a martial arts centre before being redeveloped into the Michelin Guide recommended Age & Sons in 2009.

Full of original features, the building is in need of little restoration to breathe new life into it to create a thriving hub in the local community and town centre.

This historic building will become a multi purpose community and arts venue supported by a modern cafe and restaurant serving high quality, locally produced produce.

Research conducted with Canterbury Christ Church University identified a need for more creative work accommodation in the town and Heritage Lab’s first venue will co-working space for those n the creative sector and a bran new intimate performance venue for the local community and tourists.

Bernie Morgan

Heritage Lab chair Bernie Morgan said: “We want to help regenerate our town by bringing disused heritage buildings back into life to boost jobs and stimulate growth in Ramsgate.

“Town centres are changing rapidly and we want to be a positive part of that change, Thanks to the support of our partners we will be able to use this beautiful building to support the local community and creative sector.”

Heritage Lab says weekly performances are predicted to attract around 10,000 visits a year, and the site will create 15-25 new jobs on site and support up to 75 creative jobs stimulating further growth in the local economy.

The £550,000 project is funded through a combination of grants and loans from Kent County Council, Kent Community Foundation and the Architectural Heritage Fund and will provide three new work spaces.

The building, which contains original features, is in need of some restoration.

Kelcey Wilson Lee, Director of Programmes at The Architectural Heritage Fund, said:“The Age & Sons building is typical of a class of historic asset that is often overlooked by developers but can provide high-quality, town centre floorspace that supports local business needs while celebrating the stories that make our communities unique.

“Heritage Lab is playing a leading role in bringing this model for regeneration to Ramsgate, and that’s why the Architectural Heritage Fund is proud to include them among our pioneering Heritage Development Trusts.”

Derek Murphy, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, added:“Kent’s No Use Empty scheme is pleased to be working with Heritage Lab CIC to bring this commercial property in a conservation area back into use.

“The property has been vacant for nine years and, once refurbished, it will provide new employment opportunities for local people and make a significant contribution to the regeneration of Ramsgate town centre.”

Heritage Lab is in the process of securing tenants and operators for the ground floor restaurant and the basement bar and performance venue.

The co-working space will open after refurbishing the building on the first floor and will provide superfast fibre broadband, private booths and break out areas.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Age and Sons coworking studios: please register your interest with [email protected]

Those interested in using the space will be invited by Heritage Lab to finalise the design ensuring it meets the needs of the community.

James Horne, Social Loans and Grants Manager at Kent Community Foundation said: “We are pleased to be one supporters of this project through our social loans and grant programme, KSELF. The regeneration of this space is important as it will open up a number of opportunities to the local community.

“The affordable co-working space will support local businesses, including start-ups. We are looking forward to seeing Heritage Lab’s creative vision in action and how it is benefitting people in and around Ramsgate.”

Heritage Lab has also been involved in a project to refurbish the Granville Bars on Ramsgate’s East Cliff for exhibitions, community events, shared working and conferences.

24 Comments

    • Even more refreshing news would be if the missing tiles were reinstated and the historic reference to PAGE & SONS was maintained rather than the temporary incarnation of AGE & SONS.

  1. why does every new venture have to be connected to this arts nonsense , or is it because of all the money that is thrown thier way ?

    • It doesn’t.
      Why don’t you do something positive for a change. Launch a project. Apply for funding. Add something extra to Ramsgate’s scene.

    • Looks as though they will be reliant on the restaurant and bar to provide initial income. Given the place hasn’t found anyone wanting to use it for 9 years it does seem a bit hopeful. The original age and sons restaurant was excellent, but went straight off a cliff when it was sold to new owners. Don’t see the logic of putting the money into this venue when heritage labs already seem to have got nowhere with the granville bars.
      All seems a bit of a desperate throw of the dice.

  2. Great to see the doomers and gloommers leaving their mark in the comments. Waiting patiently for the migrant brigade, and the antiDFL league, they should appear any time now…

    • Another project dependant on external funding , to support a group who’ve been singularly unsuccessful in their aspirations for the granville bars. The restaurant and bar plans along with a co working space seems to be pretty much replicating what faith in strangers have done , at the old franks venue.
      But where as faith in strangers offers something for the nighttime economy where there was little before, age and sons is situated nigh on alongside the existing Ramsgate offering.
      The arty crowd that have come to thanet have most definitely made margate and cliftonville their home , is it really likely they’ll be tempted to ramsgate, which has absolutely none of the “margs arty vibe”
      Could ramsgate not have found a way of developing it’s own individual offering , rather than try to replicate margate?
      Your doom and gloom is another persons point of view. It’ll no doubt be decided who was right with the passing of time and taxpayer support.

  3. The arts are not “nonsense”. There is more to the arts than the kind of visual art reviled on this newspaper by people who don’t like it. It’s noticeable that people who don’t like certain kinds of music don’t slag off its performers when they are singing (or whatever) at a local venue. I wonder why that is.

  4. At first I thought great to see the building being used again. Than it said for arts and crafts and my heart sank.
    Another arty place.

    For a community and town to be successful it needs diversity but thanet is stuck in the art community. Everything seems to centre around the art community. This pushes over sectors of the community away and makes them feel left out.

    This of course leads to a spit community. One where a certain sector keeps getting our taxes or doing go-fund me because it cant stand on it’s own two feet.

    Yes art has its place but thanet needs more than just art, it needs to include 99% of people who arent into art.

    Personally I think thanet needs some much doing to make it a nice place. I visit other seaside town around the uk. I don’t see graffiti on every roadside, I dont see weeds along the road. I dont see litter everywhere. I dont smell dope everywhere.

    I know the thanet lovers poo poo this but it’s TRUE.

    Thanet needs to sort this out first.

    • I don’t see these things everywhere.
      True, there are examples of litter and graffiti. But there are loads of super things to see in Ramsgate. The Chines, the gardens, the parks, the amazing Georgian and Regency architecture. And the beach. And the Royal Harbour.

  5. In Ramsgate, I don’t see “graffiti on every road” etc etc etc. Logically, then- as Ramsgate is in Thanet- to suggest that these things exist throughout Thanet is a very big exaggeration.

    I live in Ramsgate and it doesn’t seem to me to be “stuck in the art community”; nor does everything seem to “centre around the art community” (whoever they are). Far from it.

    • Really ? I suggest you open your eyes abut more !

      London road for example every sign has graffiti on it, weeds plenty also litter plenty. That’s just one road, margate/ramsgate rd the same.

  6. Sounds good until I saw Heritage Labs are behind it. Can someone tell me what it is exactly they do? The Granville Bars seems to have gone nowhere. What’s happened to that project? What is the plan for all that money people donated to them? I have seen no updates or movement on anything from them for months. Everything surrounding Heritage Labs seems very vague and cryptic.
    Is this article saying they have already secured all funding for this project? When will the works begin? I hope this means they won’t be ‘crowd funding’ for it like they did with the Granville Bars. Of course I thought with the Granville Bars they had secured a significant chunk of investment already before the crowd fund but again, I’ve seen no change or movement at The Granville.
    If anyone can enlighten me or shed light on this situation I would love to know more.

  7. What has happened to the £300,000 that Heritage Lab was awarded for the purchase and renovation of the Granville Hotel in May 2022? Nothing has been heard of since in relation to this. Attempts to fundraise for additional project funding via crowdfunding have not been successful. Has the grant money been retained, returned or repurposed?
    This was a substantial amount of public money, so we are entitled to know.
    This was the headline then… “Government funding of £300k awarded for ambitious ‘Pugin Chambers’ project in Ramsgate”

  8. Brilliant news for Ramsgate. Well done. Ignore the nimby’s who moan about anything & everything with their negativity and no ideas or action – that’s why half the town is boarded up. Great to see new ideas and vision brought to the town. Good luck.

  9. As usual, the dooms and glooms think that Ramsgate cannot do what Margate, Folkestone, and other places have done. As usual, they also think that ‘arty’ is a defect, and that perhaps we all should be chimney sweeping. Something tells me none of them have to worry about work, and they just show their insecurities. They just want ‘proper pubs’ for ‘down to earth’ people ‘born and bred’ in Ramsgate. Oh well.

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