Council leader reveals ‘surprise’ additional £20m government funding for Ramsgate

Ramsgate Photo Stefan Costen

Ramsgate has been awarded £20m in government funding – in addition to the £19.8m Levelling Up funding – as part of the long-term plan for towns programme.

The funding was allocated as part of the government’s Spring budget but came as a surprise to Thanet council, leader Cllr Rick Everitt said, as it “landed unexpectedly, with little or no explanation and even without any of the publicity fanfare you might expect.”

The funding, which local authorities do not bid for, was initially announced last September when 55 towns were awarded £20m each.

The government said: “We’re putting towns back into the hands of local people, so that they can decide on local priorities and what’s best for the long-term future of the places where they live.

“Each town will have a new Town Board made up of local community leaders and employers, who will draw up their town’s Long-Term Plan for the next 10 years. This work will be backed by up to £20 million of “endowment-style” funding and support to invest over the next decade.”

An additional 20 towns, including Ramsgate, were announced as recipients earlier this month. Towns were chosen based on data around population, healthy life expectancy and earnings.

Rick Everitt

Cllr Everitt said: “We were very surprised to discover Ramsgate had been awarded and additional £20m as [part of an extension to the long-tern plan for towns originally announced in September last year.”

He said it was “very welcome news” but indicative of the government’s “haphazard approach to major funding” that there had been no prior notice or explanation.

Town Board

The government says Town Boards will be the decision-making bodies, and will be run by local people: bringing together residents, business and community leaders to devise and agree a shared vision.

Suggested town board members include an MP, councillors, police, community groups, faith groups, youth groups, charities, neighbourhood forums, local businesses, cultural/art/heritage and sporting organisations, representatives from schools and colleges and integrated care boards.

Thanet council will be the accountable body for the fund. The aim is to focus on safety and security; high streets, heritage and regeneration and transport and connectivity.

Cllr Everitt said it is not yet clear whether the Thanet Partnership Board set up to oversee the district’s  Future High Street Fund, Town Deal and Levelling Up Fund programmes will also oversee the new funding programme.

He added: “We do know now is that we have to submit a plan by November 1 but there are still plenty of questions about this money to which we do not have answers.

“We are fortunate, however, that in the work started under the Labour administration in 2021 to engage with the community in Ramsgate and explore the opportunities for the town, that is well advanced and continuing, particularly through the development of Ramsgate place plan.

“I can also say we have a great team of officers working on Ramsgate regeneration who I know, like me, are excited by the further opportunities this money represents.”

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “We are pleased to note that Ramsgate has been included in the latest national government budget announcements and is set to receive funding and support worth up to £20 million. This forms part of the government’s Long-Term Plans for Towns programme.

“The exact details of when the funding will be received and updated guidance on the development of a vision for the programme and a plan for delivery are expected in the coming weeks.

“We look forward to hearing from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and sharing next steps with local people.”

Thanet is now required to put together a 10 year plan with detail on investment and interventions focused on the first 3 years. The grant will be paid over the next 3 years to fund the Town Board’s 3-year investment plan.

The current Thanet Partnership Board overseeing the £51m programme for Levelling Up funding, Margate Town Deal and Future High Street funding comprises of:

  • Brian Horton – Director, Horton Strategic and Chair of the Thanet Regeneration Partnership Board
  • Chris Butler – Managing Director, Thanet Earth
  • Zoë Carassik – Chief Executive Officer, Pie Factory Music
  • Colin Carmichael – Chief Executive, Thanet District Council
  • Cllr Ruth Duckworth – Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Property, Thanet District Council
  • Cllr Rick Everitt – Leader of the Council, Thanet District Council
  • Sir Roger Gale – Member of Parliament for Thanet North
  • Lesley Game – Thanet County Councillor, Kent County Council
  • Cllr David Green – Ramsgate Town Councillor, Ramsgate Town Council
  • Craig Mackinlay – Member of Parliament for Thanet South
  • Frank Martin – Director, Locomotive Storage Limited
  • Bob Porter – Director of Place, Thanet District Council
  • Rebecca Smith – Chief Executive Officer, Social Enterprise Kent CIC
  • Cllr Rob Yates – Mayor of Margate, Margate Charter Trustees

 

44 Comments

  1. Rick Everitt. Rather than moaning and trying to score cheap political points just be grateful that you have now got an extra £20 million to spend on Ramsgate.

  2. I doubt very much that Sunak even knows where Ramsgate is, let alone that he has signed off on £20m, no this has Gove’s finger prints all over it.As for brown envelopes, they are the ones the HMRC are sends out to pay for this malarkey.
    This article poses more questions than it answers.
    What is the Town board supposed to do? How is it to be constituted? By election where each section elects their representative or by appointment,where if I know my TDC, only ‘reliable’ candidates will be chosen who will tow the TDC line.
    Ramsgate already has it’s own representative body, unlike Margate, so why add to the bureaucracy,because a Town board will require a secretariat to record it’s findings and transactions.As that function already exists why duplicate it with TDC functionaries who jam things up and will drain the £20m into funding TDC by the back door.
    This £20m should be seen as a down payment and not an end in itself.Looking at the Thanet board, it does not give much cause for optimism,and if the usual suspects muck this up,they will not be forgiven easily.
    I hope that the high street will be taken by the scruff of its neck, with some social housing, some of the bigger retail units broken up into small units for niche outlets. Definitely no more bars either nail or alcohol, and this time I agree with the Pink Checksfield in that art organisations should have a limited role in the process.
    The best thing for Ramsgate would be for TDC to go the way of all things, and to let each Town manage it’s own affairs.The 1974 so called reorganization was a disaster for Ramsgate and has held back the town ever since.

  3. I expect RTC will spend it fighting the opening of Manston. Keeping the town’s folk concentrating on anything but the abject lack of forward thinking from this body. Rick Everitt, must be unsure of his position rather than saying thanks, it becomes another political point scoring exercise. No wonder we consider our political system is in complete decline

    • The money is not RTC’s to spend.
      And any responsible local body would fight tooth and nail not to have a huge, polluting, environmentally damaging airport right on its doorstep.
      Whist we have WWX, we’re not going to get the High Street back to what it waw. It would be a waste of money to try to attract Smiths, Barclays etc back into the town. Better to accept that the WWX effect is here to stay, and spend the money on something creative and permanent.

  4. Some of the money should be spent on more CCTV monitoring live 24/7 with covert cameras to catch the graffiti idiots and anti social behaviour. Cleaner streets, youth activities areas. I hope the money really is ring fenced to ramsgate. Ramsgate Town Council do an excellent job tidying up areas they should be able to do more with this funding. When the next court JR is decided for Manston Airport to reopen as I guess it will Jenny Dawes should retire.

    • If the DCO is granted for Manston, the £20M could be spent on soundproofing schools, colleges, surgeries, venues, homes and so on.

    • Now, this is the kind of thing where funding could be used. Ramsgate like Margate needs to get itself back in order to make the place nice again to attract visitors who spend money on coming to the towns. The neglect at present is diabolical without regular maintenance and repairs.
      It is supposed to be for local people to have their say so lets hear what people in Ramsgate want to happen in their town.

  5. Let’s hope the money is actually spent on worthwhile projects – not manipulated to inflate the already ridiculously overpaid TDC ‘execs’.

  6. Thank you Mr sunak sir and your Tory party for cutting council funding by 40% since 2010 and then giving us back a pittance before the general election .

  7. Yes I forgot get the waterfall going it is in a setting and such a lovely thing to look at and added attraction to the town.

    • If TDC hadn’t been such arses the waterfall would be working and repairs started on the deteriorating artificial rock work.The lift would be fixed and Warren Rec would be in better nick.If Bill and Ben or whatever they are called did not have such a fixation over a town council policy that happened 4 years ago, they would be able to see the wood from the trees, but like many old people they carry their resentment onwards.I doubt if many in Ramsgate are that interested and if the polls are even faintly accurate much of the DFT support for Manston will melt like snow in the spring.
      No, this £20m will be spent where TDC want it and all the bull over a Town board will be meaningless as they will ensure that TDC compliant trusty’s will form the majority.

  8. So we now have a Town Board, a Town Council, a District Council and a County Council.
    I note too that the usual suspects will have their noses in the trough!! Nice work if you can get it though!!

  9. Electioneering politics, not good enough, woefully short following a decade of austerity measures and cut back placing people previously comfortable on the breadline, and those on the breadline homeless due to the Tories poor handling of the situation presented to them. If Ramsgate has this money we shall take it without thanks, just don’t waste it. How about doing something with the old motor museum, fixing the waterfall, clearly graffiti just to begin with.

  10. We always knew there was a second round of extra funding for the poorest of communities on the cards. Why is he saying it is a surprise?
    They cannot be allowed to continue with so many councillors, TDC employees and MP’s on the board, it is supposed to be made up of local community members so that the funding can be used wisely, not just directed towards council issues. The Margate Town Deal funding was a disaster initially due to council interference with where the funding should go. Don’t allow this to happen in Ramsgate as well.
    This funding is for improving Ramsgate, not the villages or other towns as some may think.

  11. The layers of bureaucracy are absurd. Before we start quibbling on what it is spent on, perhaps we should start by praying some of it will actually be spent at all?

    Unlike the High St fund and the existing Levelling Up money, where delivery appears to be glacial to zero.

    Folks visit Ramsgate for the harbour and beach area. We should get on with making Pier Yard a community space, by restoring the maritime museum so its a small open museum. We should fund 10 years of Christmas Markets along the harbour, buy some lights for the arches, move the Christmas tree there and create a spectacle of festive joy. Folks come from miles around to see the yacht lights and there’s nothing special to welcome them when they do. Likewise the same could apply to easter etc blah.

    As for the High St, perhaps long terms funds for cleaning, for more plants and lights. Perhaps some subsidy on rents for people to try and take on a shop? Some innovation. Some risk.

    Fixing the lift and the waterfall is also a no brained.

    But let’s be delighted. Not surprised. Irrelevant of politics this is welcome money for our town. And most of all, let’s actually do something with these funds.

  12. Agreed.But what I cannot work out is Rick Everitt’s surprise, he’s a Ramsgate Cllr for god’s sake.It would be a surprise that Charlton FC won the FA cup (R.E’s team),but not that Ramsgate deserves the cash.Apart from TDC kiboshing any funding or directing everything to Margate, our two heroic MPs have not exactly been proactive in twisting the arms of the treasury.
    So,Go Ramsgate! Form up the Town board before TDC can interfere with it,and draw up a list of projects.Shouldn’t be hard, will end of next week do?

    • Will first priority not be given to ensuring that projects ,under the levelling up schemes , that were under threat due to cost increases can now be completed rather than waste the money thats already gone into them , in addition these schemes have already been approved/agreed so hopefully are “shovel ready”.
      That’ll just leave any surplus to be found a home. Shouldn’t be too hard, plenty of things in ramsgate to spend money on.

    • I agree. If only TDC would stop spending on Manston support. Let us count the ways… 15 reports? Fudging the local plan? Hundreds of thousands over the years as well as the ruination of our farmland by the houses going elsewhere.

    • That’s because you spend the whole time being angry that you failed to spot the invitation to see the accounts that are advertised via a notice and online each and every year.
      Now, why don’t you go over to Cecil Street and up to Maidstone and ask to see TDC’s and KCC’s accounts.Mind you, what seeing the accounts is going to achieve is anyone’s guess.We had all this stuff about illegality and the auditors back along in 2020/21, and what happened? Nothing.
      So here’s a heads up for you, when RTC or any other Town or Parish council give notice of their accounts passing external inspection in August or September or before if the audit is completed swiftly, you can ask to see the books as there will be a notification issued.
      There are none so blind who will not see!

  13. AM NOT HOLDING MY BREATH- WHERE THIS MONEY IS GOING TO SPENT. THE HIGH STREETS ARE NOW LIKE GHOST TOWNS-NO THANKS TO WESTWOOD CROSS-NO CINEMAS IN RAMSGATE OR MARGATE -JUST THE EXPENSIVE VUE-THANK U THANET COUNCIL FOR DOING THIS UTTER SHAME ON BOTH LABOUR AND THE TORRIES.

  14. Please allocate this money to schemes which will actually get delivered.

    As others have mentioned, the Levelling Up Fund and Town Deal fund is a huge opportunity missed with projects still on the starting blocks years later.

    Don’t make the same mistake again.

  15. Now £20m let’s see the build plan like Ashford has done amazing realising the error of not investing in council/social homes. I don’t see improvement on new builds for social homes in thanet, lacks plans and future thinking.. About time tdc actually did provide for the locals. However the notorious losing money council will waste it on something else completely instead of safe homes. I have a feeling they will spend the public purse and give it away like dreamland. Wtg TDC…couldn’t organise a party in a pub. Buy manston airport like you did dreamland on a compulsory purchase, Then turn half of it into houses. Its the only site that already has infrastructures in place. No brainer. Happy to organise the tdc vegan sausages at any time lol. Peanuts and monkeys.

  16. Awesome, Jenny Dawes must be rubbing her hands, more money for her pathetic appeals. No doubt, this money will be wasted on stupid things as per usual.

    • The money is not RTC’s to spend. It’s a grant to TDC, and it’s ring fenced for Ramsgate projects.
      It’s astonishing how little grasp pro-airport people have of current affairs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


seven + 13 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.