Bid for £2.5m from National Lottery Heritage Fund to renovate Ramsgate’s Clock House is denied

Harbour Clock House Photo Historic England

A bid for £2,5million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) for restoration and an extension at Ramsgate’s Clock House building has been denied.

The Grade II* listed Clock House – where the maritime museum is based-   is part of Thanet council’s Levelling Up plans for the town and has been allocated £3.36m out of a £19.8m pot.

The initial designs for the project were on display at the public engagement event held in July this year at the Crane Shed in Ramsgate Harbour.

In August 2023, the council, in partnership with the Ramsgate Heritage Regeneration Trust (RHRT), submitted the bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) requesting £2.5million, to extend the Clock House building to provide additional exhibition space and to partially fund the restoration of the existing building.

The bid also included £500,000 to deliver heritage development and activities.

Today (Thursday 14 December), NLHF has confirmed this funding bid was unsuccessful.

Rick Everitt at the Ramsgate Levelling Up session

Cllr Rick Everitt, Leader of Thanet District Council, said: “Though the announcement from the National Lottery Heritage Fund is a setback, we are committed to bringing the much-loved Clock House back to life as a heritage hub for Ramsgate.

“I know how disappointed the Ramsgate Heritage Regeneration Trust will be at this outcome, but I want to reassure them, and the town of Ramsgate, that we will work with them to ensure the project is a success.

“Although we won’t have the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we will be researching other funding opportunities instead and we can do this in a timeframe that suits the project.

“Work will now start to review the scope of the scheme, within the existing Levelling Up funding allocation.”

John Walker, Chair of the Ramsgate Society, said: “We are disappointed by this result, of course, after all of the hard work that has gone into this project so far.

“We are committed to delivering a maritime heritage hub for Ramsgate, and will continue our efforts, alongside Thanet District Council and the Ramsgate Heritage Regeneration Trust, to bring it to fruition.”

How the Clockhouse and Dry Dock once looked

The Clock House building in Ramsgate Royal Harbour had been leased to the Steam Museum Trust since 2012 but is now back under the council’s management.

Since its return, the council has assessed the building for urgent repairs and has started work to repair electrical wiring to enable lighting and temporary heaters, which will reduce potential impact to the b structure over the winter.

The Clock House was placed on the Historic England Buildings at Risk register in 2019 and a number of exhibits were lost or damaged in a fire in November 2021.

The Maritime Museum previously displayed a large number of items, until its closure in 2021. Many of these were on loan from the HMS Stirling Castle collection. These items have been returned to the National Royal Navy Museum for conservation. It is planned that a number of the items will be returned to the museum when the renovation is complete and there are suitable conditions for their display.

Steam Museum Trust returns lease for Ramsgate Clock House to Thanet council

Team behind successful Ramsgate Tunnels to help deliver Clock House renovation project

45 Comments

    • 10 points there for the obligatory ‘art gallery’ moan, well done. Can you go for an additional ten points with something about stopping boats or DFLs.. Also..Isn’t your statement essentially the definition of any museum?

        • And what have you done Peter beyond art to attempt to raise significant financial investment to improve Thanet? Have you naked lady books attracted big company investment

          • Peter, how does you be interviewed on local radio for a book that is nothing to do with Thanet, help Thanet?

            Trust me, I have done a considerable amount for the area and directly contributed to attracting millions of pounds, for businesses which I see you on here constantly belittling and dismissing.

          • I think Ms Pink is having a problem with her periods, she gets a bit tetchy now and again. I would suggest HRT but it made my ex wife very coercive and controlling, and I ended up divorcing her, but that was decades ago. Perhaps HRT isn’t so strong nowadays, so why don’t you give it a shot Ms Pink?

  1. How an earth could TDC think it was justified in £5 million plus project for the clock house. They had leased it out under a full repairing lease, not taken any notice of the building, then comeback with this wonderful project, spending other people’s money on some fanciful gold plated project, when they were handed back the building in a dire state.

  2. Huge respect to the individual(s) who submitted this bid. Thank you, I know HLF bids take a lot of work, I salute you.

  3. Ignore Lily the Pink she is displaying her lack of knowledge and prejudice about art.
    HLF is another of many trick pony shows that substitute for long term investment.
    The HLF will have limited funding and the Clock House might take up a large part of their funding so they refuse the bid.More bids are lost than win and the reasons are not always clear.
    TDC are culpable in allowing things to get in to this state and now the restoration is a very large project.The trust might have to look for a consortium of funding bodies to fund the project.Its been a long time in the making, but now with TDC behind them, instead of hindering them,they can move forward.

    • And what have you done Peter beyond art to attempt to raise significant financial investment to improve Thanet? Have you naked lady books attracted big company investment?

  4. Expected, sadly the ridiculous decision to invest in a multitude of TDC’s decaying assets and allocating funds from the levelling up fund means many will not happen as they will simply be unable to get the matchfunding due to the saturation of bids they TDC will be submitting. Rather than allowing actual inwards investment from private businesses, social enterprises etc. the lack of knowledge and expertise from the regeneration team is obvious by the poor decisions they have made and are making. Watch this money will be reallocated to the ferry port as there is already a shortfall of funding on what’s required there.

  5. Who are these faceless wonders HLF bods.? Where do they hang out? If they said NO to £2.5 million how much are they prepared to bung.? I must admit it does sound a lot of money. These days everything seems to cost millions. Thanet needs a sex museum to raise funds for local community development projects the sex museum in Amsterdam raises over £2 million per year an incredible amount of money simply by displaying objects and images which show why we are all here. Looking at it in a grown up way it an excellent money maker. It would save having to go cap in hand to the HLF who ever they are.

    • I’m merely taping it today. A full announcement will be made on my website in due course, and the interview will be on youtube with my many other interviews.

  6. I’m sure Ramsgate Town Council could throw some money in the pot, after all they were very quick to give money to try and stop Manston Airport.

  7. How would you know that Lily? Actually, RTC were a key agent in Ramsgate becoming the only Heritage Action Zone in the South before COVID struck.They also acquired the Fire Station and appear to spending their cash on upgrading that building,and for the enlightenment of all that sum will be considerably more than the £10k that was granted to the Manston affair.
    If I were you Lily, I would keep mum and concern yourself with Birchington matters,where they spend nothing on heritage.

  8. I now politicians better than they know themselves and what drives them.
    I don’t have to defend anyone, because I am not aligned with any faction.I take positions on the evidence and the best likely outcomes.Those who like you, are stuck within a dogma, are perforce to remain dissatisfied with life, hence your petulant,childish, outbursts,that so many find embarrassing to behold.
    Free yourself from your dogma and you will feel so much better for it.
    Karen Constantine can stand her ground and needs no support from me.

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