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.
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.