About

Vision

We want to help to regenerate our town. We believe that Ramsgate’s unique and rich heritage provides the key to unlocking regeneration. We will revitalize historic buildings and community assets to create work and community space, employment and enhance pride in our town. We believe that using our expertise to unlock grant and philanthropic investment wisely, we can regenerate buildings and places that would otherwise not be commercially viable. We believe that our community and partners have the skills and expertise to support us, and the desire to make it happen.

Story

Heritage Lab CIC was established to unlock the social and economic potential of historic buildings and community assets. In 2017 our founder led the project with Historic England, local councils and several community organisations to ensure that Ramsgate was the first place in the UK to be established as a Heritage Action Zone. Many of its 450 listed buildings are in a state of poor repair, empty or underused; yet they could represent a powerful tool in the regeneration process. Focusing mainly on the expanding creative sector, we will use our skills and expertise, and those of our partners and community; to bring Ramsgate’s heritage buildings and community assets back into sustainable use, creating high quality community space, workspace and jobs and enhance pride in our town. Complementing other regeneration initiatives, we believe this will reinforce a sense of community, rejuvenate the local economy and provide a catalyst for improvements to the wider area. Over time, we aim to revitalise the overall quality of the built environment and boost health and wellbeing among Ramsgate’s remarkable residents through their participation in our curiously creative spaces.

Outcomes

Our outcomes framework will be developed with our partners and community. We will use the evidence based logic model Outcome Based Accountability method to ensure that we focus on improving outcomes for people and places. It is likely that our outcome measures will include:

  • employment created
  • workspace created
  • volunteers supported
  • buildings regenerated
  • wellbeing improved

Ramsgate

Ramsgate is a seaside town in the district of Thanet in east Kent, England. It was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century. It has a population of about 40,000 and it’s main industries are tourism, fishing, off shore wind farms and the creative sector.

Ramsgate’s history, and its impact on modern British life is staggering.

Ramsgate was the site of four of the most important arrivals in English history: Julius Caesar in 54BC built a 20 ha fort during his incursion, Hengist and Horsa in 449 AD, who led the English in their conquest of Britain; and Augustine of Canterbury in 597 AD, who converted the English to Christianity. More recently, the 850 Little Ships of Dunkirk were sailed from Ramsgate in England to Dunkirk in France between 26 May and 4 June 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo, helping to return home with more than 336,000 British and French soldiers who were trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk during the Second World War. Home to the UK’s only Royal Harbour, Ramsgate was also a chief embarkation point during the Napoleonic Wars.

Situated in the district of Thanet, Ramsgate is now experiencing an influx of visitors of a different kind as one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the UK, attracted by award winning sandy beaches, stunning architecture, big blue skies, a thriving creative tourisms sector and one of the largest marinas on the English south coast.

In contrast, Ramsgate also has some of the most deprived areas in the UK.

Employment rates have fluctuated rapidly over recent years, ranging from 69% in 2015, 80% in 2017, and 71% in 2018. Wages are typically lower than the UK average, and youth unemployment is higher than the SE and UK average.

Team

Rob Kenyon

Founder and CEO

With over 8 years of board level experience across multiple organisations, partnerships, and sectors, Rob has a strong track record for shaping strategy and culture.

Bernie Morgan

Non Executive Director

Bernie is a Trustee at Royal Bank of Scotland group Community Loan Fund, a business and strategy consultant for Craigmyle Fundraising Consultants and chairs the board of Trustees at the Dreamland Trust.

Derek Newman

Non Executive Director

Derek has 45 years experience in the construction industry and has held the position of project director for the last 25 years.

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