/ About Ramsgate
/ Town Promoter Update - January 2020
We are now one month into the new decade and the year 2020 which surely must be the year of clear and perfect vision! In Ramsgate, we are hopeful that this will include a positive outcome when decisions are made about our funding bids to improve the town centre. We have submitted two public sector bids that were open for applications last year; one to the Historic High Street Funds and one to the Future High Street Funds. We feel that both our bids are strong and working with Thanet District Council and local stakeholders, our proposals are in line with the guidelines and criteria set out in each bid.
Our first bid, the Historic High Street Funding, is about improving the look of the town centre, offering grants and encouraging owners to restore the frontage of their premises. We hope to transform some of the historic buildings in the centre, so they look as good as the day they were built! We will be developing a cultural programme that reflects Ramsgate and what it has to offer. We will be working with a group of interested people who live and work in the town to develop this and hope to give you more detail on what that will look like over the coming months.
Our second bid, the Future High Street Funding, will be for a larger pocket of funding, which if we are successful, has the opportunity to be even more transformative - we won’t find out until later on in the year whether we are going to receive any funding, so fingers crossed! One of the problems within the town is the distinct areas of separation from the harbour and town centre and we will be working with Kent County Council to improve the sightline from Harbour Parade and Military Road leading into Harbour Street and York Street so that both areas appear more united, encouraging people to move through the harbour and town more easily.
We hope there will be funding to improve other public areas and include more green spaces within the town centre. Again, depending on the amount of funding offered, we want to look at some of the larger retail spaces for more community based initiatives which could include tackling loneliness, poverty, unemployment and health issues but also offer opportunities for young people in our town and our growing creative sector to have a space for events, workshops and performances. The large retail units are harder to fill in this current climate of online and out-of-town shopping, so we need to ensure that the shops are utilised in ways that benefit the whole community.
Of course, at the moment, all of this is a bit of a wish list and until we know how much funding will be made available, we cannot make any of these changes, but I think, the two bids combined really would help to regenerate and transform our town, not just for residents and visitors but for investors into the town and it will preserve the buildings for posterity.
But what our town really needs, more than any of these initiatives, is people to support it, so if you haven’t popped into town recently and all your other New Year’s Resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, resolve to start using your town and we will all reap the rewards!