For the past two years Heritage Lab CIC has been trying to save Pugin’s Grade II listed Granville Hotel in Ramsgate, Kent from disappearing into obscurity.
Heritage Lab has a legal agreement [which comes to an end later this month], with the owner to buy the 999-year leasehold to the seafront Granville Bars. We has been trying to raise around £500,000 to transform it into a thriving creative hub and world-class events space called Pugin’s Studios.
“We’ve had amazing support from the local community and our partners. With their help we had completed our exciting plans, designs, branding and business case in time to start applying for the necessary grants to make this happen. We had even begun to secure interest from tenants and operators”, said Rob Kenyon, CEO and founder of Heritage Lab CIC.
“Sadly, this coincided exactly with the start of the pandemic shut down and nearly all of the funders we had approached stopped supporting new capital projects almost overnight. Whilst we are delighted that funders have directed their resources to supporting existing projects and artists, this has been a massive blow for our project, which relied on being able to attract significant grants to make the business case stack up.”
“We are devastated for all our fabulous volunteers who have put in so much time and energy into the project. We have approached the owner to ask for an extension to our agreement because we still believe that the project is viable in the long term, and that without COVID the scheme could have been starting as soon as Easter 2021”.
In the meantime, Heritage Lab will move its attention to other projects in Ramsgate and to supporting other local groups wishing to take forward similar schemes.
Watch this space….!