This is no comprehensive survey just some mild thoughts walking from my bookshop down King Street, then Harbour Street, along Harbour Parade and back via York Street.
When you consider the number of shops that have been converted into residential buildings over the last few years combined with the number of shops that are now essentially offices, we already have a lot less than we had not so very long ago.
There do seem to be rather a lot of empty shops at the moment.
Putting the blame game first, there are lots of candidates and some questions going a begging.
Should the council have done more to restrict out of town shopping developments?
Has much more effort been put into regenerating Margate than Ramsgate and is this unfair?
Can non-food outlets compete with the internet?
Do various potential commercial and industrial projects (airfreight hub and gravel washing as examples) impact on investment in the town?
What of the ongoing Pleasurama fiasco blighting the main sands and perhaps the town?
Anyway, always look on the bright side, are there any solutions?
My bookshop here in Ramsgate is doing reasonably well at the moment, but I put this down to the majority of the books on the shelves being cheaper than like for like books could be bought on the internet.
Perhaps the council could do something to help the problem, but I don’t have very high hopes on that front.
I think a problem here is that I don’t do much shopping apart from books, so perhaps there are others who have some ideas. Any thoughts anyone?
There aren’t any vacant units down Harbour Parade, which is encouraging.
The latest round of slipways demolitions seems to have finished, I looked on the council planning website but can’t find any of the applications for the site under Pier Yard and the interactive planning map there doesn’t seem to work any more.
I phoned the council and they were helpful – phoning me back twice – eventually telling me that the applications are searchable and can be found on the planning website, not under the address Pier Yard but under/on the East Pier or by searching the postcode ct118ls.
It seems the council have approved plans for a café there, here is the picture – artist’s impression wosisname.
There is a rumour going round The Hornby Visitor Centre is now staying put and won’t be moving there, but then there are always rumours flying around. Does anyone actually know what is happening there?
Wetherspoons are still ploughing away at the Pav and I am still expecting to be open on target next summer. Talking to some of the traders on Harbour Parade there is some degree of concern that it will take business away but there is mostly optimism that any steps are being made to resolve the seafront dereliction.
There are also increasing concerns about parking and traffic on Harbour Parade, to me 99% of the traffic there seems to be failing to find a parking space and it’s something that needs looking at.
Personally I am looking forward to the view of Ramsgate from Wetherspoons with the sun behind me, something I will enjoy having a go at painting.
Finally we come to the old Thanet pictures, two of Margate and four of Ramsgate, the final one proving that in 1908 people really did have “a ripping time” and kiss curls