Ramsgate has been chosen as one of the country’s first ten ‘Heritage Action Zones’, in a new nationwide scheme from Historic England. Using the outstanding local heritage, the project aims to attract new investment into Ramsgate, helping the maritime town to prosper, bringing about economic and social benefits for the local community.
The scheme is being run in partnership with Thanet District Council, Ramsgate Coastal Community Team, Ramsgate Town Counciland The Ramsgate Society. Historic England in the South East will provide an estimated £400,000 to the project over five years, to be matched by £10,000 a year from Ramsgate Town Council and considerable staff time and resources from Thanet District Council. A skilled project officer will be funded to coordinated the programme of activities and promote the opportunities for local people to get involved.
The Heritage Action Zone team will engage the local community to increase public understanding of the rich local heritage that exists in Ramsgate, including the exciting maritime story. There will be lots of opportunities for local people and groups to get involved with initial plans set to involve schools, give opportunity for training in heritage related skills and public exhibitions and programmes.
Historic England will be working in partnership with local organisations to understand what makes the heritage in Ramsgate really special and to improve and protect those places for the future. Historic England will also assist Thanet District Council in being able to carry out urgent work to preserve vacant or partially occupied listed buildings in the town.
The next five years are set to be an exciting time for Ramsgate, and Historic England is asking for the views of local residents on what they think of their local heritage now. Views can be shared via this short online survey: https://surveyplanet.com/5892060396a3070c7f3da2c7
Andy Brown, Planning Director for Historic England in the South East said:
Ramsgate is one of the great English coastal towns with a fascinating maritime history. As well as Britain’s only Royal Harbour, the town is blessed with a wonderful variety of historic sites including buildings by the architect Augustus Pugin, who is famous for designing the interiors of the Palace of Westminster, including his own house and the neighbouring church. But this barely scratches the surface of what Ramsgate has to offer as a historic town. The Heritage Action Zone partnership brings together the national skills and local passion which will make use of its amazing heritage stories and places to reinvigorate Ramsgate, helping to grow the local economy, boosting tourism and business investment as well as encouraging the local community to reconnect with its heritage with a renewed sense of pride.”
Cllr Lin Fairbrass, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Services at Thanet District Council said:
“Ramsgate combines outstanding heritage and architecture with a beautiful marine landscape and engaging history. Being chosen as one of the country’s first ten Heritage Action Zone will not only raise awareness of our town as a heritage destination to attract visitors and investors but will also reinforce our sense of identity and pride. The partnership will act as a catalyst for regeneration and we look forward to Ramsgate being better understood, enjoyed, valued and protected.”
Ramsgate Town Council said:
“Ramsgate Town Council is fully supportive of the Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone and are pleased to be able to support the initiative both morally and financially”
Jenny Dawes from the Coastal Community Team said:
“Ramsgate Coastal Community Team is delighted to be working with Historic England and Thanet District Council to build a brighter future for Ramsgate on the foundations of its historic past”.
John Walker from Ramsgate Civic Society said:
The Ramsgate Society welcomes the announcement by Historic England that Ramsgate has been designated as an Heritage Action Zone, one of only 10 in England. This recognises the importance of Ramsgate's heritage and the role that it can play in regeneration and economic growth. As a partner in this project we have worked closely with Historic England, The Ramsgate Town Council and Thanet District Council to develop a number of projects that over the next 5 years will engage local people in improving their knowledge of the value of our heritage which makes Ramsgate such a special place to visit and live."
Ramsgate joins Appleby in Cumbria, Coventry in the West Midlands, Elsecar in South Yorkshire, Hull in East Yorkshire, King’s Lynn in North Norfolk, Nottingham in the East Midlands, Sunderland in Tyne and Wear, Sutton in South London and Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, which have all been selected as Heritage Action Zones.