Architectural Heritage Fund charity awards £77,300 to Pugin Studios project

1 August 2022

  • Heritage Lab welcomes latest funding success with crowdfunding appeal to launch this autumn
  • Project fund to transform Pugin’s Grade II listed Granville Hotel now totals £377,300

An ambitious project to save Pugin’s Grade II listed Granville Hotel in Ramsgate from obscurity has been granted a funding award for £77,300 from the Architectural Heritage Fund.

The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity that since 1976 had worked to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK.

The additional funding provides fresh impetus to plans by Ramsgate community interest company, Heritage Lab to create refurbished spaces at the historic town centre site for exhibitions, community events and conferences.

Matthew Mckeague, CEO of the Architectural Heritage Fund, said:

‘It gives us great pleasure to have awarded Heritage Lab a grant towards essential development work to enable the purchase of Pugin’s Chambers. This is phase one of an exciting restoration project that will significantly benefit Ramsgate, and we are delighted to be supporting.’

Rob Kenyon, CEO & Founder, Heritage Lab, CIC, said:

“We are delighted to receive this funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The more we raise from grants and donations, rather than borrowing, the cheaper space will be for artists and the community, that’s why we will also be launching a crowdfunding campaign in the autumn, details of which we will release over the coming weeks.”

Bernie Morgan, Chair Heritage Lab CIC said:

“This latest funding award is invaluable in delivering on the Pugin’s Studios project. We can’t wait to get this amazing architectural gem reopened and back to having a productive future and once again be the focal point for the community.

Mike Galloway, Chairman of The Pugin Society, said:

“The Pugin Society congratulates the Heritage Lab Community Interest Company for obtaining a major grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The Granville was one of Edward Welby Pugin’s major secular designs and an unforgettable landmark on Ramsgate’s East Cliff. We greatly look forward to visiting the restored public rooms at the end of this ambitious project.

Heritage Lab is driven by a passion to regenerate the seaside town of Ramsgate in Thanet, Kent. Its mission is to revitalise historic buildings and community assets to create work and community space, employment and enhance pride in the town.

Heritage Lab had agreed to buy the 999-year leasehold to the seafront Granville Bars Pugin’s Studios in 2019. Currently unused and in a state of disrepair, the former hotel building forms part of the Historic England at Risk Conservation area and Ramsgate’s Heritage Action Zone. The aim is to create a creative hub and events space called Pugin’s Studios. The original hotel bedrooms have long been converted for private residential use and do not form part of the project.

All that remains of its glorious past is a sequence of spectacular, but derelict, sea facing public rooms. These will now be used to create much needed low to no-cost space for community and voluntary groups to hold large events, room for the town’s burgeoning creative industries, and create 100 jobs and apprenticeships.