27 June, 2023

Council to invite expressions of interest from commercial port operators

Thanet District Council is set to embark on the next phase of the exciting project to attract commercial operations back to the Port of Ramsgate.

This follows Cabinet’s decision in March to start a procurement exercise, calling for expressions of interest from commercial port operators to operate a substantial part of the Port of Ramsgate including two roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) berths.

The council has operated the Port of Ramsgate since 1998. Now home to a variety of businesses, including an aggregate facility and two offshore wind farm operators, the Port once hosted a daily scheduled cross-channel service. There has been no scheduled ferry operation in place since 2013

In 2021, the council secured £19.8m for Ramsgate as part of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF). Some £9.62m of this is set aside to improve the Port.

Cllr Rick Everitt, Leader of Thanet District Council said: The Port of Ramsgate is a major asset for Thanet, with particular significance for the town itself and national importance too. It has huge untapped potential, in terms of employment and training opportunities for local people and the wider development of the district through new investment. 

“The Levelling Up Fund award means that we can now forge ahead with the structural changes necessary to attract a cross-channel freight operator which were previously unviable. Our ambition is to establish the Port as a base for supporting green industry.”

A prospectus containing further details, including the procurement process and timescales, can be found on the Kent Business Portal.

The Port Narrative, first published in November 2022, sets out the vision for the Port in more detail.

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