I am not convinced that allocating a long (+100year) lease to Weatherspoons is not the right thing to do for the Pavilion. I believe that the Council has the responsibility to take back this building from Rank and restore it. Once restored the Pavilion can be used for commercial and community purposes which should generate sufficient income to repay debt and cover maintenance. I have written to Clive Hart the Council Leader about this.
If you care about the Pavilion please contact Councillor Hart
His e-mail is Cllrfirstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Councillor Hart
I am writing to express my concern about future plans for the Ramsgate Royal Victoria Pavilion. Personally I do think that leasing the building to Wetherspoons is the right way forward. I believe that there are many more attractive solutions which the Council should consider.My suggestion is that rather than grant a lease to Weatherspoon’s the Council takes back the building from Rank and uses some, or all, of the £2.7 million designated to repay the spine road loan to begin work on restoring the building. The council could supplement this money by applying to the Lottery Heritage Fund and other grant making organisations for additional finance to renovate and improve the building. Securing such funding should be relatively straightforward as influential heritage organisations such as the Victorian Society are supportive of the need to improve the building and restore it to something approaching its former glory.
If this approach is followed the Council will have at its disposable an incredibly valuable asset which could be used for both commercial income generating purposes and for community events and uses including perhaps the relocation of the Ramsgate Town Council offices to the Pavilion. Other local authorities across the country have done similar things with their heritage buildings including Canterbury Council and the Beaney and Bexhill and the De La War Pavilion. This is a fantastic and unique opportunity for the Council to help to restore one of the most iconic seafront buildings in south east England which has the Victorian Society has said “should be heart of Ramsgate Life”. It would be shame to lose this opportunity
I would be happy to meet with you to talk through my ideas.
Councillor Ian Driver