City of Ramsgate Investment Plan launched – The Isle Of Thanet News
A Municipal Investment Plan for Ramsgate has been launched with program proposals including investment in local businesses, youth employment, new cafes, hotels and restaurants, restoring historic sites, creating better public spaces , cycle paths and railroad crossings and leisure attractions.
The Ramsgate Future Town investment plan is based on schemes using funding of £600,000 from the Future High Street Fund, £2.7m from the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) and £19.8m of the Leveling Up Fund with the hope of securing additional grants and private investment.
The program is primarily focused on the town, waterfront and harbor and East Cliff, although other areas including Newington also feature.
Thanet Council Leader Ash Ashbee said: ‘The aim of the Town’s Investment Plan is to outline potential opportunities to support the future of Ramsgate. It was created by the people of Ramsgate who identified what they would like for the town. The council has commissioned specialists to support activities to engage local stakeholders – businesses, community groups, funding partners, members of the public – to understand ideas and solutions for Ramsgate.
“The Ramsgate City Investment Plan is a huge step forward in the regeneration of Ramsgate. It sets out very clearly the projects that have been identified as being of greatest value to the city. The fact that the plan has been created by people who live and work in Ramsgate, and who care about its future and the changes that will have the greatest impact, only adds to its importance. I look forward to seeing the wide range of projects to as they begin to take shape.
South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay attended the stakeholder launch and said the £19.8m funding for Ramsgate was ‘just the start’ with private sector funding also playing its art .
He highlighted plans to renovate the Ramsgate Clock Tower and redesign the Pier Yard area for the use of public space, renovate the Smackboys Home building to create a social enterprise/training boutique hotel, of his interest in projects that would boost Ramsgate’s fishing industry – such as plans for a new fish restaurant and linked fish market – and the need to focus on funding and Net Zero business at the port .
Chris Paddock of PRD consultants was among those who collected statistical evidence and developed the plan.
He said many striking elements were instantly visible for Ramsgate in terms of deprivation and restricted job and economic growth, but also in terms of the potential for the plan.
He said Ramsgate’s jobs economy hadn’t grown in a decade and many businesses needed help to grow.
The investment plan aims to provide support and advice to local businesses, transform underutilized spaces into affordable workspaces, reduce dependence on seasonal commerce, support maritime jobs throughout the year , to increase skills and training and to leverage location advantages to create opportunities within Green and Low carbon sectors.
With youth unemployment in Ramsgate almost 10% higher than in England on average and unemployment for the over 50s twice as high as the English average. Plans also include securing capital investments to provide learning, skills and training opportunities and investing in infrastructure and places for young people where they can spend time, including parks, open spaces and youth programs. The plan also highlights poor pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and the need for public spaces for residents and visitors.
Ramsgate’s tourist economy is also at the center of improvements with suggestions for new hotels and possibly a spa at Townley House, finding ways to make people feel safer in the town, organizing events and festivals and seeing the return of Ramsgate Market. Investments in inclusive mobility measures that will make Ramsgate more accessible to all are also included.
Using the city’s heritage to build a strong identity is also an objective with the use of heritage assets to offer new commercial or cultural spaces and a suggestion of sharing information through more publications, podcasts and events. and activities.
At East Cliff, suggestions include new open green space and public realm waterfowl, more cafes and publicly accessible toilets, refurbishment of listed structures and finding opportunities to create a new beach club, open to all. Ramsgate City Council has already been working on plans for a beach club and is investing in Radford House which will have community uses alongside City Council business.
Other proposals include a new community cafe along the High Street and looking for opportunities to renovate the Argos building as a cultural hub and accessible workspace, reusing the Granville Theater and further expansion at Ramsgate Tunnels – which is already happening thanks to the work of the Tunnels team.
The projects have been divided into categories ranging from immediate to long-term and some are being funded – such as the Port Green Campus proposals and other programs included in the Leveling Fund offering – while others are “ambitious”.
County Councilor representing Ramsgate, Karen Constantine, said: ‘I welcome this report, and the associated video and information, highlights the potential for a much brighter future for Ramsgate. I noted the section on inclusivity with interest, and think this is one of the most important aspects, as much of Ramsgate is inaccessible to people in wheelchairs, using walking aids, mobility scooters and of course strollers.
“So I hope that every aspect of this plan is genuinely inclusive for people with reduced mobility. I hope that this access can be extended to ensure, like many of our European cousins, that people with disabilities can also access the beach and the sea.
“To live in such a wonderful coastal region without this access is terrible. Not only does this disadvantage residents, but it also hinders tourism. If we made our beach and some see bathing areas accessible to people with disabilities, that would also boost our tourism.