Thanet District Council secured £19.8m of Levelling Up Funding for Ramsgate in August 2021. £3.36m of the total funding is currently allocated to the refurbishment of the Clock House building in Ramsgate Royal Harbour.
In August 2023, the council, in partnership with the Ramsgate Heritage Regeneration Trust (RHRT), submitted a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF). The bid outlined a request for £2.5million, to extend the Clock House building to provide additional exhibition space, and to partially fund the restoration of the existing building. The bid also included £500,000 to deliver heritage development and activities.
Today (Thursday 14 December 2023), NLHF has confirmed that this funding bid was unsuccessful.
Cllr Rick Everitt, Leader of Thanet District Council, said: “Though the announcement from the National Lottery Heritage Fund is a setback, we are committed to bringing the much-loved Clock House back to life as a heritage hub for Ramsgate.
“I know how disappointed the Ramsgate Heritage Regeneration Trust will be at this outcome, but I want to reassure them, and the town of Ramsgate, that we will work with them to ensure the project is a success. Although we won’t have the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we will be researching other funding opportunities instead and we can do this in a timeframe that suits the project.
“Work will now start to review the scope of the scheme, within the existing Levelling Up funding allocation.”
John Walker, Chair of the Ramsgate Society, said: “We are disappointed by this result, of course, after all of the hard work that has gone into this project so far. We are committed to delivering a maritime heritage hub for Ramsgate, and will continue our efforts, alongside Thanet District Council and the Ramsgate Heritage Regeneration Trust, to bring it to fruition.”
The Clock House building in Ramsgate Royal Harbour had been leased to the Steam Museum Trust since 2012 and is now back under the council’s management. Since its return, the council has assessed the building for urgent repairs, and has started work to repair the building’s electrical wiring to enable lighting and temporary heaters, which will reduce potential impact to the building’s structure over the winter.
The Clock House is Grade II* Listed, and is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, due to its continued deterioration in recent years.
Read more about the Clock House refurbishment project here.