European Active Projects Ltd ceases operations at Ramsgate harbour

Ramsgate's slipway 1 Photo Mark Stanford

EAPL (European Active Projects Ltd) has ceased its boat repair operations at Ramsgate.

The firm has withdrawn from  Slipway 1 and cleared the site.

EAPL Director Steve Jones said: “I can confirm we have disappointedly ceased operations at the Ramsgate Slipway.”

No reason has been given for the shut down.

The firm was recently fined £100,000 after a Health & Safety Executive prosecution. The fine, plus £5,730 in costs, was ordered in relation to a breach of Work at Height Regulations after one of its workers was spotted on a pallet raised by a forklift truck at Ramsgate Harbour.

Photo Mark Stanford

Services from EAPL at slipway one had included quick turnaround slippings, mechanical engineering, structural engineering, refits, retrofits and project management and water jet overhauls.

Photo Ian Shacklock

Vessels previously repaired on the slipway include the Medway Queen paddle steamer, which arrived in Ramsgate in July 2021, for hull maintenance and painting, and Vreindschap – most recently known as Ramsgate Arts Barge  – which is now owned by EAPL and at its facility in Chatham while a buyer for the vessel is sought.

Photo Mark Stanford

The company has several sites including Chatham, Falmouth and Southampton.

In 2017 EAPL concluded an agreement with GPS Marine for the joint operation of the slipway facility at Ramsgate.

The aim was to provide a facility for GPS vessels given the shortage of slipway facilities in the Thames and Medway,.

It is understood GPS may be taking over full operation in Ramsgate.

Photo Mark Stanford

Slipways 2 and 3 were dismantled after a deal was signed in 2015 in preparation for a Hornby Hobbies visitor centre at the Harbour.

The Scalextric and model train giant, had planned to create the centre next to the maritime museum.

Developer Jack Baker, of Neath Properties, took on the £3.7million scheme and carried out work on the historic slipways as part of the project.

How it would have looked

But in 2017 it was confirmed that Hornby had withdrawn its proposals after a sale of the site at Margate included an agreement to lease back part of the site for the Visitor Centre and retail outlet – which was renamed The WonderWorks last year.

GPS Marine has been contacted for further details.

9 Comments

  1. Saw they were closed this morning, thought they were on a forklift training day.
    Shame the former Ramsgate arts barge Vreindschap, does anyone know where the vessel is?

    • James, the article states “Ramsgate Arts Barge -previously known as Vreindschap – which is now owned by EAPL and at its facility in Chatham while a buyer for the vessel is sought”.

  2. If you get Health & safety wrong these days, can have major implications, as it has done. With slipway 2 & 3 lost in 2015, it shows the reduced demand for the site over the years and want for commercial development for the site.

    • There is NEVER any justification for non-marine commercial development within a proper working harbour like Ramsgate’s. And if future governments are serious about climate change then they would be subsidising water-borne freight and protecting boatyards instead of letting the market decide their fate

  3. Surely it is likely that EAPL found itself insolvent after the fine and potential customers unwilling to use its services after the ”bad publicity”.

    Could it also be the case that the harbour continues to silt up, making it difficult for larger vessels to access the slipway ?

  4. I wonder if the council charges had anything to do with it. They say we are in a cost of living crisis, and the council is increasing charges by 8 %.
    The fees and charges for 2024/25 are due to be approved soon by the council, and will come into effect on Monday 1 April 2024. There has been an increase of approximately 8% on all services.

  5. EAPL – operate unsafely and you pay the price. As for the harbour fees 10% last year 8% this year is absolutely ludicrous. TDC simply see it as a cash cow and will price it out of existence. Boat users will leave for marinas offering more and better for their fees.
    The whole attitude to the port of Ramsgate and it’s unique harbour has to be questioned.

  6. Arts Council not paying for work on their barge may have helped the decline of the slipway finances.
    Disgraceful ordering works with no funding for it.

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