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.