Granville Bars in Ramsgate placed on the sale market

Granville Bars site being marketed by Miles & Barr Commercial

The former Granville Bars in Ramsgate has been put on the market with a guide price of £750,000.

The ground floor and basement site is being marketed by Miles and Barr Commercial on behalf of the current owners Evans Kidd Ltd.

The property in Victoria Parade is being offered for sale and lease, with the leasing option available to be split into separate units at the ingoing tenants expense.

The Granville Bars Photo Frank Leppard

The ground floor is 6,620 Sq Ft and comprises three rooms, two of which were previously used as a restaurant area. The large room to the rear has a stunning ballroom with the original flooring. There is also a large kitchen block, a bar area, and two WC blocks.

The property was last sold at auction in 2019  for £310,000.

Photo Miles & Barr

The Granville Bars has sea views and sits in the block designed by the famous architect Edward Welby Pugin.

It was a hotel between 1869 and 1946 before being sold by proprietors Spiers & Pond. The building also has 48 self-contained flats which are not part of the auction offer.

The building was Grade II listed in 1973.

Photo Frank Leppard

In November 2019 Ramsgate community interest company Heritage Lab announced an ambitious project to create refurbished spaces for exhibitions, community events and conferences at the venue.

Heritage Lab had a legal agreement with the owner to buy the 999-year leasehold to the seafront Granville Bars. It had a year in which to raise the £485,000 needed to complete the deal and kick start plans to transform the site into a creative hub and world class events space.

Photo Miles & Barr

However, the COVID crisis thwarted their attempts to secure the necessary funding.

Work was resumed after being granted £300,000 from the Government’s Community Ownership Fund in 2022 and this was followed by a grant of £77,300 from the Architectural Heritage Fund the same year.

A statement from Heritage Lab says: “The property has been put on the market as some of the complex legal issues are unresolved. We wanted to reassure everyone that this doesn’t mean we have given up!

“Having put in 6 years of hard work and had so much support and encouragement from the community we will continue to work hard at getting these issues resolved as quickly as possible so that we can then raise the rest of the money to match to our crowdfunding grant and capital grant which remains with the government until the issues resolved and the balance is raised.

“Everyone should have received their rewards by now however we are still waiting on giving some Crowdfunder rewards to our supporters. Please contact us at [email protected] if you need to collect your reward and we will be happy to help.”

Photo Frank Leppard

The CIC is currently working on the conversion of the former Age & Sons restaurant in Ramsgate town into a community space, including cafe/restaurant, co-working offices, bar and event space.

The ground and basement areas of The Granville have not been in public use for more than 30 years.

Photo Frank Leppard

In the late 19th and 20th centuries the site was regularly visited by princes and princesses, grand dukes, lords and ladies, writers, actors and the rich and famous from all over Europe.

With 26 spas and baths, a marble skating ring, theatre and ballroom, it was the premier destination of its day, with guests arriving on the privately chartered first class ‘Granville Express’ train from London.

It was commandeered as a military hospital for the Canadian Government in the First World War, and medical officers who served there include the first Canadian to be awarded the Victoria Cross and a future Nobel laureate.

It mainly treated patients suffering from shell shock, nerve injuries and injuries to bones and joints. In April 1917 the hospital accommodated 809 wounded Canadian soldiers. The hospital closed in the same year and was relocated to Derbyshire.

The Granville reopened in 1920 after a £60,000 modernisation. It was leased to the Empire Hotels Group in the 1930s.

A corner of the hotel was destroyed by enemy action on 12 November 1940. The building had closed and was fortunately empty during the raid. The bomb damaged corner was rebuilt in 2004 and became Granville Court.

In 1947, the hotel was converted into flats and renamed Granville House. For the next 30 years, the building was managed and then owned by William and Florence Hamilton.

The Granville was a popular venue for ballroom dancing in the 1950s and 1960s due to its sprung floor. The hall, demolished in 1982, was also used as a count during elections and to host private and civic functions.

In February 1956, the basement became a jazz club called The Cave. From 1974 until the 1990s, the building had a number of different owners. Its public bar closed for the final time in 1991.

Find the sale listing here

Photos: Inside the Granville Bars and the amazing features of the ballroom

Ambitious project to bring new life to Pugin’s Grade II listed Granville Hotel in Ramsgate

14 Comments

  1. It reads as if Heritage Lab is expecting everyone else to put the money in to buy the place and because they haven’t got sufficient money Heritage Lab have put it on the market. The place was purchased 6 years ago for £310,000 Heritage Lab were given £377,000 from the government??? It’s now on the market for £750,000. No wonder this country is in a state of collapse when the NHS and schools are begging for financial help and yet £377,000 has been wasted on this proposal ….for what???

  2. They money that they have taken for funding form taxpayers NEEDS to be given back. What is it with this so called creative / art lot that think it is ok to just waste tax payers money all the time. If there idea’s are so great why don’t they fund it themselves!

    What will happen with the profit they have made form the sale as the purchase was only possible with tax payers money?

    More and more of these arts ideas are nothing more that a scam to line there own pockets.

  3. Last summer we were visiting a stately home walking round the grounds. We met a Lord his family. The property has been handed down to over the years we got in conversation, and he told us that he gave the house to the National Trust to save pain tax on what he inherited on the condition that he could live in is part of the property rent, free, gas free, electric free council tax free and that was agreed on top of that he was awarded £500,000 over three years to keep his part a free bedded large apartment in good order because of the property being grade 2 listed This Granville bars all sounds very similar with our money is thrown at these places because they’re actually grade 2 listed seems all very dodgy to me. I said to the Lord it must cost a fortune to run this place we’re not really said because it’s open to the public , it gives people employment and it help us maintain it, although that’s all down to the national trust now nothing to do with me yet as you say Bill, the NHS and the schools and public services in general need extra money and can’t seem to get it slightly owns and place grade 2 listed. No problem at all. Money seems to be thrown at them out of interest the reason the NHS and school are in a poor state of repair is because in real terms, they were given more money 15 years ago than they are today

      • Did the council get paid for mooring fees in the harbour? More fool the slipway for accepting the work without payment up front or at least a substantial deposit. Always was a hair brained fanciful idea with as ever little to back it up.

  4. I don’t for one minute think Heritage Lab have trousered the money. The funding was all subject to reaching pre-defined goals etc. It’s probably still all with the Grant bodies. Lots of hoops need to be jumped through for fund-raising. The asking price is, in my opinion bonkers!

  5. You couldn’t make it up really. everyone moans about thanets heritage being wiped out. Group try to do something and everyone still moans. Can’t win.

    • But could also be said , group has visions way beyond their ability to deliver, can’t do anything unless they get free money from others. If this doesn’t sell for the sort of figure indicated will they have enough surplus to actually doing anything with the Age & Sons building or will that scheme evaporate as well? Do the people behind these schemes take wages whilst nothing tanfpgivle happens?

  6. Whoever buys needs to be aware that there is absolutely no noise insulation. Even when people speak at normal levels, residents around can clearly hear the whole conversation. So, the use of this space for loud music events or a pub is out of the question unless proper noise-absorbing materials are installed all over the venue.

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