Four new items to report on the way forward at the Clock House

1) Appointment of Project Architects
There were 13 responses to the inquiry for architectural services for the Clock House renovation project. The bids were carefully evaluated by Aecom, the Project Consultants, using two main criteria- quality and price. We were able to make a decision, but due to the requirement to notify the other bidders first, a formal announcement will be delayed until the end of March.

The architect’s remit will include three elements, The Clock House, Pier Yard, and the Smack Boys renovation project on the other side of the harbour. Other professional appointments will be made as the detailed design work proceeds.

2) The Clock House Focus Group
A Focus Group has been formed to work with The Society and TDC to deliver the Clock House and Pier Yard Project. The Group is made up of volunteers who have the experience and specialist skills to advise and help steer the project through to delivery. The Focus Group met for the first time on 24th February and discussed the scope of the project and how they would be able to support TDC and The Society deliver the best outcomes for the town. The Group is very supportive of the HLF Grant Application to be made on or before 25th May. With this in mind the Concept Plan and the Business Plan are currently being updated and the Group will meet again to review these important documents once the initial drafts are available

3) The Clock House Volunteers
The Ramsgate Society is very fortunate to have a group of over 20 dedicated volunteers who have kept the Museum open to the public for several years when it would otherwise have been closed. These volunteers will be the key people in the future running of the new Heritage Centre and their contribution to the long-term success of the project is going to be vital to the sustainability of our business model. The Volunteers will be involved at an early stage in the project so that their experience of running the museum can be factored in from the start. We plan to have a working meeting of the volunteers as soon as the revised Concept Plan and Business Plan are available for discussion. If you are interested in becoming part of the volunteer team then please email me.

4) Community Engagement Exhibition
Community engagement and support for The Clock House Heritage Centre is a vital component in the lasting success of the project. We feel it is really important that local people know what is proposed and how it will work. With this in mind we are planning to hold an exhibition in the Clock House during the Summer months of this year so that people can see what the vision is for this part of the historic harbour. We will be asking people for their views and comments which we will collate and evaluate as the project starts to take shape. Watch this space for further information.

John Walker