Local residents, representatives from local societies and civic groups and local councillors gathered at a meeting at the Churchill Tavern on Monday 7th March to hear about Thanet Council’s decision to refuse a bid from the Kent Film Foundation (KFF) to take ownership of The Granville Theatre. The meeting was Chaired by Karen Constantine, the KCC member for Ramsgate.
As we reported in our June 2021 newsletter, Kent Film Foundation’s bid proposed a renovation of the theatre space with two cinema auditoria one of which would double as an events/theatre venue with a capacity of over 300.
KFF’s bid was turned down by TDC officers in a process which lacked transparency. As far as KFF is aware they were the only bid.
Fears were expressed at the Churchill Tavern meeting that the Council intends to strip the venue of its listing as an Asset of Community Value and to sell the venue on the open market.
The KFF has told us that they intend to go forward with a next stage bid and we have offered to help.
Our own view is that:
- The Granville Theatre is a great asset to Ramsgate which lacks a theatre and cinema space.
- There are concerns about the process which led to the refusal of this bid.
- There are multiple benefits of the venue for the community.
- Several local youth groups have relied on the venue for regular clubs for the young, who have few alternatives.
At a time of great anxiety and Mental Health stress, following the Covid pandemic and the most recent Russian aggression in Ukraine, there is a great need for a shared community and cultural space as could be offered by the refurbished Granville Theatre.
For more up-to-date information on the campaign to ask TDC to reconsider the decision to disallow the Kent Film Foundation to bid to take over the Granville see this Facebook site:
You may also wish to sign the petition on this matter:
Paul Shearer and John Walker