Permission granted for conversion of former Age & Sons restaurant and public design events due to take place

Age & Sons building (Image Hollaway)

Planning permission has been granted for the conversion of the former Age & Sons restaurant in Ramsgate into a community space, including cafe/restaurant, co-working offices, bar and event space.

Contractors are due to be appointed this month by new owner Heritage Lab Community Interest Company.

There will be two drop-in sessions for people interested in helping to design the new co-working space called Thrive, on Thursday 11th January from 4pm – 6pm and Saturday 13th January from 10am -noon.

If you are interested in attending register here

(Image Hollaway)

Heritage Lab says it aims to return The Old Wine Warehouse in Charlotte Court, which has been shut for almost 10 years, to public use for enterprise, arts and entertainment, supporting local talent.

Eleven solar panels are planned on the front roof slope of the building and an air source heat pump will also be installed.

(Image Hollaway)

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, a family business in Ramsgate still in existence after 220 years.

It spent several years as a martial arts centre before being redeveloped into the Michelin Guide recommended Age & Sons in 2009. The restaurant closed in 2014.

(Image Hollaway)

Heritage Lab is  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.

A council planning officer report says: “This development proposes the reuse and refurbishment of a historic building within the Ramsgate Conservation Area.

“Whilst there would be some alterations to the appearance of the building through the replacement of doors and windows and the addition of solar panels and an air source heat pump this harm is considered to be less than substantial.

Age and Sons building

“The proposed use of the premises as a community space, café, restaurant, office, bar and event space would be similar in nature to the previous use of the premises as café and restaurant and the external alterations would not significantly alter the scale of the property.

“Subject to the required conditions this development is therefore not considered to result in any significant harm to the living conditions of the neighbouring property occupiers, highway safety or biodiversity.”

Three objections to the plans were lodged with Thanet council raising concerns including potential conflict from the development with other plans in the public open space. Planning documents say this has been resolved following amendments to the site plan.

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.

Heritage Lab also headed up a proposal to refurbish the Granville Bars on Ramsgate’s East Cliff for exhibitions, community events, shared working and conferences. This was put on hold during the pandemic but in 2022 funding of £300k from the Government’s Community Ownership Fund and then £77,300 from the Architectural Heritage Fund was granted.

Heritage Lab says: “We are continuing to work hard with all our funders to resolve some complex issues which have been beyond our direct control for some time.

“We continue to be immensely grateful to the community for all their support for our project and have retained all the money from the Crowdfunder, which is unspent.

“The capital grant from the Community Ownership Fund is also unspent and remains with the Government until it is needed.”

Heritage Lab says for 2024 it will continue working with St George’s Church on Project 200 and there are plans for two more projects in the pipeline.


  1. Was this building not formally known as Page & Sons wine and spirits merchants. This building being their distribution centre for their shops and supplying of wines etc to licence businesses. They used to supply wines etc to the Cottage in Margate High Street.

  2. I agree with Ms Pink. Another coffee shop/community centre? How about something useful like, I don’t know, a ball bearing factory? Or, in keeping with the building’s victorian architecture, it would make a lovely bijou workhouse for when the Tories get in again. Or an Academy for Apprentice Chimney Sweeps for young orphans. Craig Mckinlay would sponsor it when he repeals the Clean Air Act and we get rid of woke green energy, open up the Kent coalfields and all get back to having proper smoky fires again. Bring it on.

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