January 2023 Monthly Members Newsletter

Dear Terry,

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2023 and hopefully you all had a rewarding break. We now embark on a really important year for the Ramsgate Society but first you may be interested to know that our piratical goings-on outside the Clock House for this year’s Advent Doors collected donations of £334.88 towards the £4,314 grand total for all 24 events. Everything raised went to Thanet Winter Shelters and support for the homeless.

Terry Prue

Launch of the 2023 Design Awards

The Ramsgate Design Awards aim to recognise and celebrate buildings, public spaces, shops, and places that are valued by the local community and show the very best in design and construction whether in new buildings both residential and commercial, public spaces, or the repair and restoration of existing buildings.

For the 2023 Ramsgate Design Awards, the Society is delighted to announce that it will be delivering the project with the approval and support of Ramsgate Town Council (RTC) who are keen to work with The Society to generate a strong sense of Civic Pride in the town. Working with RTC we feel will widen the appeal of the Awards and create more interest and engagement with the local community that RTC represents.

The Ramsgate Society, a Civic Society formed in 1964 to save historic buildings from demolition, has always had an interest in promoting good design and good conservation practice. Ramsgate was one of only 10 areas chosen for Heritage Action Zone status by Historic England in 2017. The 5-year project received funding designed to attract inward investment into Ramsgate which has 4 conservation areas (Ramsgate, Pegwell, Royal Esplanade, Montefiore) and 442 listed buildings.

Ramsgate Society’s design awards were last held in 2018 and The Falstaff, a boutique Hotel on Addington Street, was selected as overall winner. Awards were presented on Civic Day, June 16, 2018, at a ceremony at Customs House attended by local MP, Craig Mckinley.

For the 2023 awards, The Ramsgate Society and Ramsgate Town Council, aim to recognise and celebrate buildings, spaces, shops, and places that are valued by the local community and show the very best design and construction process throughout the project whether building from new or repairing the old.

This year’s competition has 8 award categories with additional awards for the best overall winners in 4 categories.

The award categories are :


  • Best newbuild
  • Best retrofit


  • Best newbuild
  • Best retrofit
  • Special award: Best retail and hospitality
  • Special award: Best workspace
  • Special award: Best pop up or meanwhile use

Thanet award

  • Best building or project in Thanet.

Overall winners will be announced for:

  • Best conservation project
  • Most environmental and sustainable project
  • Greatest contribution to public realm and placemaking
  • Building of the year.

Projects nominated must be in located in Ramsgate or the adjacent wards, except for the Thanet award which must be situated in Thanet. Nominations will be accepted from anyone including members of The Ramsgate Society, other local community groups, residents’ associations, TDC and Ramsgate Town Council, architects, developers, construction companies, as well as individuals and local businesses. Nominations should be made by completing the online Design Awards 2023 nomination form. Uploaded photographs should demonstrate why the project is worthy of an award in the nominated category.

The independent judging panel will be appointed by the Ramsgate Design and Heritage Forum, and will be chaired by Dan Thompson, social artist, writer, designer, and Ramsgate resident. Judges will assess projects on the:

  • Quality of the design
  • Quality of construction
  • Environmental impact and sustainability
  • Materials
  • Accessibility
  • Contribution to placemaking

The level of budget will be considered, as will the story the project tells.

Nominations will close on April 14th 2023 and judging will take place in April and May of 2023. The winners will be announced at an event in June 2023.

The Nomination Form can be found online or via the Design Award post on The Ramsgate Society’s website.

The Ramsgate Society is approaching local groups and businesses to become sponsors of the awards. If you would like to become a bronze, silver, or gold sponsor please contact us.

Paul Shearer

News about The Clock House and Pier Yard January 2023

Pier Yard 100 years ago – Photo courtesy of Michael Child / Thanet Blogspot

We continue to report on plans to renovate the Clock House and re-purpose Pier Yard and there are positive signs of movement forward for 2023.

Thanet District Council, who are the Accountable Body for the Ramsgate Levelling UP Fund (LUF) have now appointed Aecom as the external project managers for the various elements of the Ramsgate Levelling Up Grant, for which a total of £19.8million has been allocated by the Government.

The Ramsgate element splits neatly into two parts. The first part is a group of Heritage related projects which includes The Clock House (Ramsgate Maritime Museum), Pier Yard (the creation of a new town square for Ramsgate) and the Smack Boys (a new niche hotel) opposite the Marina.

The second part consists of proposals to upgrade the Port of Ramsgate which we will report on in our next Newsletter.

The Ramsgate Society is working closely with TDC to deliver the Clock House and Pier Yard elements of the overall projects and we are pleased to report that an inaugural meeting with Aecom took place on Friday 13th January to review and discus the way forward bearing in mind that the Levelling Up Grant has to be spent by end march 2025 and there is a great deal to be done.

The Levelling Up monies will be used to renovate and repair the existing Grade 2* Listed Building to bring it into a suitable condition. The first step is to appoint a number of individual professional teams to work with Aecom to deliver the project e.g. architect, engineers, quantity surveyors, M&E consultants etc. before appointing a specialist contractor to carry out these essential works.

In addition to this we are working with TDC to submit a bid to the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NHLF) for a grant of £2.5m to extend the existing building and fit it out as a modern heritage centre which will tell the story of Ramsgate’s maritime history. The initial application to NHLF in 2022 was successful and we are about to proceed to Stage 2 which is due to be submitted in either May or September of this year. The deadline of March 2025 for the LUF does not apply to the NHLF Grant.

The Society has put together a Focus Group to work with TDC as the project progresses and the plan is to have regularly monthly meetings to keep things moving forward as quickly as possible.

View the original concept plan we prepared in 2016 which we are working with TDC to update and to implement.

We will report on further progress in our monthly newsletters- so watch this space!

John Walker

Environment and Climate Change: What Can We Do?

The Ramsgate Society have recently formed a working group led by Phil Shotton, to advise on matters relating to the environment, climate change, biodiversity and energy usage. We have also recently started working more closely with Ramsgate Town Council on matters of mutual interest which would include all of the above together with the need to maintain a sense of civic pride which is an important factor in people’s sense of wellbeing and of community.

We were delighted therefore that Ramsgate Town Council recently formed a Climate Change Task Group who have just issued an advice note with some simple energy saving measures which local residents can use to reduce their energy consumption. Please click here to go directly to the document.

Our thanks to RTC for this initiative at a time when rising energy costs are such a major issue.

John Walker and Phil Shotton

Feedback on Radford House

Those of you who attended our January talk in Radford House should remember that the presentation team really want to hear our reaction to the venue. Feedback will help them to formulate a business plan for the creation of a valued community asset. If you have opinions on its future use, even if you were not able to be there on Friday, please send them to me at news@ramsgate-society.org.uk and I will distribute to Cllr Anne Marie Nixey, Michael Foley, Adrian Lockwood and Andrew Hadden.

Terry Prue

Contact the Ramsgate Society

If you have any queries about or for the Society please get in touch

Members with events, workshops or news that you would like the Society to consider featuring in its newsletter please contact: news@ramsgate-society.org.uk

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