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Although there is a premium for people with the right skills, Thanet has an acute shortage of people suitably qualified to repair the more than 2500 Grade 2 listed buildings in the area let alone Ramsgate’s beautiful Georgian Grade 2* harbour and its buildings which are in need of serious repair. This project focused on the harbour and was designed to inspire young people to pursue a career in the heritage industry. To find out more about training for the heritage sector and associated building crafts CLICK HERE

A community needs people with different capabilities and strengths if it is to prosper. We want young people to realise that they don’t have to leave Thanet to earn a decent living; there are good, well-paid jobs to be had in the heritage industry in Kent. We are hugely excited to learn that East Kent College is starting courses in heritage skills for the built environment.

This project brought together 14 students from the Royal Harbour Academy and 14 from Chatham & Clarendon Grammar School. They worked together photographing much-needed repairs to the harbour, interviewing craftspeople at Dover Castle and Canterbury Cathedral who specialise in heritage and they researched pathways into heritage jobs. The project included video interviews with heritage practitioners as well as online and printed information about training and culminated in an exhibition last November at Silverland Studios on Ramsgate Harbour.

The students on Harbouring Hopes for Ramsgate worked with professionals photographers, Mark McEvoy and Jason Pay, Jules Bigg of Fresh Produce, a graphic designer whose clients include News International, Eat and Emap, Gemma Dempsey, an experienced presenter and journalist who works in USA and UK, Dan Whitehead of Roar Video who has 15 years experience as a video and website maker, Matt Smyth, sound engineer at Pie Factory Music and Ben Morton who has produced major exhibitions for clients such as Maserati and Puma .3Dsign and Realise Productions did a superb job on designing and building the exhibition.

We would like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund, our heritage partner on the project, the Ramsgate Society, as well as the Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone, Historic England, the Ramsgate Heritage and Design Forum, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle, Abode Renovations, Silverland Studios and Pie Factory Music which is part of Ramsgate’s Youth Centre. We are also grateful to Ramsgate Town Council and Thanet District Council for their assistance.


The Ramsgate Society – http://www.ramsgate-society.org.uk/ramsgatematters/

Historic England – https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/ramsgate/

Project Video

From the first meeting to the final exhibition, here is what the students got up to and how they benefitted from the experience.


Some photos from the project.



Check out the timeline of events for the project with our vlogs from Ramsgate Harbour to Dover Castle via Canterbury Cathedral and a boat trip on the River Stour.