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Emergency Repairs to The Clock House

Last year the Clock House was placed on the Historic England Buildings at Risk List and, due to the Coronavirus restrictions, the building has remained closed since March 2020.

Members will be pleased to hear that the Society has been successful in obtaining a grant of £22,812 from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Response Fund to carry out some emergency repairs at the Clock House. The repairs are essential to stabilize the loose stonework around the clock tower, which is in danger of falling through the roof, and to repair the leaks in the roof that are causing damage to the interior of the building. 

Files:
pdf.png Damage to the Clock House Follow Up
Date 2021-02-14 File Size 1.02 MB Download 35 Download

The initial survey, specifications and quotations for the work were prepared by Michael Foley of Standard Heritage on a pro bono basis. Mike is a Ramsgate resident and a qualified Heritage Surveyor, a member of the Ramsgate Heritage and Design Forum and a great advocate for the protection of Ramsgate's historic buildings. Following the receipt of three quotations the contractor chosen to carry out the work was Colman Contractors of Canterbury.

The work is due to commence soon and will be supervised for the Society by Simon Clark of Copperstone Consultants and Mike Foley of Standard Heritage. Mike has very generously agreed to act pro bono and Simon Clark's fee is included in the grant from Historic England.

We currently await the TDC response to the WSP Report and Consultation on the Feasibility of the Ramsgate Port and Harbour which is expected in the Spring 2021. If the Clock House is identified in that Report as a defined project then we have been told that TDC will support our proposals for a new Ramsgate Maritime Heritage Centre in a newly renovated Clock House.


 

Clock House and Maritime Museum

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Image © Francis Philips Architects from the 2016 concept document by Houghton Kneale Design Ltd for Destination Makers and The Ramsgate Society. The full document can be downloaded here.

 

pdf.png Ramsgate Clock House Exhibition Concepts HOT
Date 2021-01-10 File Size 4.05 MB Download 189 Download

 The consultation period on the WSP Feasibility report commissioned by Thanet District Council is now over and in the new year TDC will be considering its next steps.

The Ramsgate Society responded to this consultation at some length and a copy of this response was posted in our November Newsletter. One of our key recommendations was that the restoration of the Clock House, the most iconic building in the Royal Harbour, should be accepted as an early priority. This proposal was identified as a possible Phase 1 of the regeneration of the Royal Harbour, as distinct from the redevelopment of the Port, which would need a much longer timescale.

The Society completed a Clock House feasibility study in 2016, which cost £25,000 and was funded by a grant from the Coastal Community Fund. The study included a condition survey of the building, architects plans for the restoration, a detailed business plan, quantity surveyors cost plans, a concept plan for the proposed Heritage Centre, and an engineer’s report from Arup’s on the Smeaton Dry Dock together with proposals for essential repairs.

At that time TDC declined to support our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to carry out the project, even though HLF had indicated strong support for the scheme. The reasons for this were not stated but it was reasonable to assume the TDC were considering the possibility of the sale of the building to help cover the ongoing reductions in government grant to local authorities.

More recently however TDC have indicated its willingness to support the project. At a meeting with the Leader of the Council, Rick Everitt, and Chief Executive Madeleine Homer in February 2020 they stated that they would be prepared to support the project if it came through the WSP Feasibility Consultation as a preferred outcome.

The Leader of the Council has recently issued an update on the next steps with the Port and Harbour Consultation which can be read here. The Society remains ready and willing to work with TDC and other stakeholders in the community to bring this much needed project to fruition.

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