Friday, 13 April 2012

Ramsgate Maritime Museum to re-open

A new lease has been signed today (Friday 13 April), between Thanet
District Council and the Steam Museum Trust, which will see the Maritime
Museum in Ramsgate re-open in May.

The new agreement includes a proposed lease and memorandum of agreement
which covers the Clock House, Smeaton’s Dry Dock, unit 30 Military
Road and related ancillary facilities at Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour.

The terms of the agreement have transferred responsibility for the
repair and maintenance of the Clock House and Smeaton’s Dry Dock from
the local taxpayer to the Steam Museum Trust and have also secured
repair and renovation works to the Clock House within the first eight
years of the lease. 

The lease has been signed following a decision notice from Thanet
Council Leader Clive Hart, which instructs council officers to enter
into a lease and memorandum of agreement with the Steam Museum Trust and
to monitor the first year of operation of the Ramsgate Maritime Museum.

Cllr. Clive Hart, said: "I'm delighted that members of the public will
soon be able to view the artefacts in the Maritime Museum again. Moving
quickly on this matter has been absolutely essential to ensure the
museum has every opportunity to open in time for the May bank holiday
weekend and to prevent the permanent loss of such an important community
asset for Ramsgate.  Signing this agreement now means that such a
significant collection of maritime related historic and cultural
artefacts will remain in the same place.

Members of the public will be able once again to enjoy the displays and
information that detail the work, courage and sacrifice of our maritime
nation’s seafarers.  This includes the 18th century jack tars of
Nelson’s navy aboard the HMS Stirling Castle sunk on the Goodwins, the
brave 19th century Ramsgate Lifeboat men and the 20th century servicemen
during World War II. From ‘England Expects’ to the ‘Dunkirk
Spirit’, they all deserve to be remembered and honoured by both the
people of today and future generations".

Chairman of the Steam Museum Trust, Michael List Brain, said: “This
is the culmination of some six years of negotiations with the council,
which I’m really pleased has now been brought to such a satisfactory
conclusion. We are confident that the Ramsgate Maritime Museum will in
time become a centre of excellence and a substantial visitor attraction
for the region”.

Signing the lease today has also ensured that the Dunkirk Little Ship,
Sundowner, will now be able to represent Thanet in the Queen’s Diamond
Jubilee Pageant being held on the River Thames on 2 June 2012.

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