This is the vision unveiled for Ramsgate by a new community group

A plan for Ramsgate? Photo Wayne Osborne

Beach schools, sea-themed playgrounds, a fish market and water sports adventure park are just some of the proposals for Ramsgate revealed at a public meeting last night (April 21).

The Port Ramsgate Maritime Village proposals will form part of Thanet council’s Local Plan – a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure up to 2031 for the isle.

The Ramsgate maritime report, which is due to be published in the Autumn, is the work of community group Wish You Were Here.

The launch, at Archive in Military Road, was headed by Councillor Bev Martin and resident  Helene Whitehall.

Local Plan

Cllr Martin told the meeting: “I was invited by (council leader) Chris Wells to work up a report in response to the Local Plan, working with the community.”

Cllr Martin said she was concerned that the Local Plan appears to earmark Ramsgate for construction and industrialisation, particularly at the port.

Photo Angela Stevens

 

She said: “What have we got at the Port of Ramsgate? A ferry that isn’t there and a concrete factory. So, I have concerns about what else we could do with that port in our beautiful town and with our wonderful coastline.”

Cllr Martin and Ms Whitehall, a film and documentary director, put together the report after examining the tourism attractions and economic viability of other towns in the UK.

One area looked at was Plymouth which has an aquarium which attracts 300,000 visitors a year.

Newquay, with its development of surf pods, beach shops, apartments and a boutique hotel was another area that came under scrutiny.

Zones

The maritime village plan proposes to split Ramsgate into zones – the western area would be a maritime protection zone forming an extension to Pegwell, the middle area would reflect the Georgian and Victorian architecture of the town and the eastern side would be a contemporary area.

Ms Whitehall said: “What we have been working on is a holistic, multi-generational approach to raise aspirations, health and help the cash-flow of local businesses.”

Helene Whitehall and Bev Martin

Ms Whitehall suggested funding should come from multiple areas rather than relying on one source, suggesting council, government and private investor revenues.

Ideas

Maritime Protection Zone

Focussing on planting and marine life

Sea-themed playgrounds

Areas for different ages spanning the upper and lower proms

Beach huts for hire

A range of artistic huts that will also those wanting backdrops for film and fashion shoots

Glamping pods

High revenues in the Summer season

Water sports and adventure centre

Wind surfs for hire, possibly based on the Mote Park in Maidstone business model.

Outdoor gym, beach yoga and cycle paths

Outdoor gym equipment the length of the seafront which would be free to use. A cycle path that goes to Ramsgate train station so commuters can follow it as soon as they arrive.

It was suggested the theme could also encourage juice bars and gym equipmewnt shops to spring up.

Public works of art and sculpture trail

Port maritime village

Cafes, shops, fish market, restaurants for an area of the port and a bigger focus on boat building and maintainance

Day trip boats

Cruise passengers to be brought to Ramsgate on day trip boats so they can explore the town and attracations. Paddlesteam boat trips were also suggested.

Artisan Quarter

Arts and crafts workshops at the port

Marine aquarium

With a focus on conservation and protection.

Forget Brexit – we want ‘Rexit’

Promoting the Ramsgate meantime. The town is 5 minutes and 41 seconds ahead of Greenwich meantime and has its own meridian line. RMT is the only local time in the country that was officially recognised by Greenwich.

Photo Trevor Shonk

The meeting heard of the scope this offers for tourism and merchandise.

Find out more about the plan and fill in the community survey here

Contact the maritime plan team on info@ramsgatemaritime.com

3 Comments

  1. Whilst Ramsgate is leaping ahead with built in attractions, and all these wonderful additions, Wetherspoons, day trips, other boat trips…. poor old Margate is left in the lurch of having beaches. Great beaches, it has to be said, and a few nicer restaurants in the Harbour area, Dreamland, Turner Gallery… and practically nothing else. The seafront is dilapidated and all those slot machine halls are not so good for the local population. I do wish that the TDC would invest more along the seafront. Restaurants are important, and so are more Hotels in the direct area. People would come to stay for days, rather than just a day, I am sure. They used to, but now with Hotels (can be counted on one hand) the market is being withheld by this state and not being recognised. Both Towns, and including Broadstairs, are (could be) goldmines for new attractions and businesses. It should not be ‘all pubs and quick pleasure’ attractions, but other places of interest. Also, if a decision is not made on the Lifeboat House soon, the RNLI will pull out of Margate completely. Of this I have no doubt. So TDC, it is up to you to sort these problems quickly!

  2. Margate has so many fascinating historical places of interest it’s hard to know which one to start with.I’m in a semi permanent state of shock in regards to the total disregard for the need to preserve and more to the point, promote these historical assets we already have here in Margate. It bemuses me what little is done by our council to promote these truly breathtaking and fascinating iconic landmarks.
    I’m saddened the list below are not; and continues not to be the council’s priority to preserve or duty to promote ? Why do they not promote the asset’s we already have to put Margate on the map as the most historical coastal town in England!
    I mean do they; or do they not want to draw more people to the area? boost business? and once more become a self sufficient seaside town just like the one i use to remember?!
    For example: The Shell Grotto:The Shell Grotto is an ornate subterranean passageway shell grotto in Margate, Kent. Almost all the surface area of the walls and roof is covered in mosaics created entirely of seashells, totalling about 190sq metres of mosaic, or 4.6 million shells. It was discovered in 1835 but its age and purpose remain unknown. The Grotto is a Grade I listed building and is open to the public.
    Margate Caves:The Margate Caves site is thought to have originally been excavated as a chalk mine in the late 17th/early 18th century. Chalk was used in the production of quick lime and in brick making, where it contributed to the distinctive yellow tone of local older bricks. At some point the site was abandoned.
    The Tudor house:The Tudor House is one of the Margate’s oldest buildings, dating back to the first half of the sixteenth century. Its form is that of a ‘transitional house’ – bridging the gap between the medievalist​ open-hall and early-modern houses with two storeys throughout.
    The Lido : (this council and it’s predecessor’s) allowed to go to rack and ruin.By the 1730s sea bathing was being practised at Liverpool, Whitby, Scarborough and Brighton, and on the Lincolnshire coast, but Margate was the first coastal town known to have provided a substantial, purpose-built sea-water bath.
    The seven Sisters: The Seven Sisters Caves, situated between Botany Bay and Kingsgate Bay. These are believed to have been used by the gang to store their contraband until it could be moved safely under cover of darkness.
    Why they are called the Seven Sisters, when they only comprise of five caves, is unknown.
    Even i as a kid knew of the importance and value of such remarkable, fascinating and factual historical places of interest and the best bit was they were right here! in Margate Kent!
    Above are but a few examples of this towns long list of vibrant, multicultral, and colourful history.

  3. This article was about what can be done to improve Ramsgate. Whilst I am sure work is also needed on Margate please don’t hijack this

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