Kent

Ramsgate residents team up to restore West Cliff Hall

  • 10 July 2013
  • From the section Kent
West Cliff Hall
Image caption West Cliff Hall played host to the Rolling Stones in the 1960s

A group of residents from a Kent resort are working to restore a derelict concert hall overlooking the harbour.

West Cliff Hall is built into the cliff in Ramsgate and opened as a concert venue in 1914. It later became a motor museum before closing in 2005.

A project is under way to raise £5m to redevelop the site into a venue for the arts.

Co-ordinator and local resident Janet Fielding said the aim was to bring the building "back to life".

Rock concerts

As an entertainment hub, it would have a cinema, theatre and restaurant. It would also support a youth development programme for young people.

Award-winning actress Brenda Blethyn is also a supporter of the plans, and remembers how her mother used to work in the building's cloakroom.

"I remember this place from my childhood... it's a crime really that it's been left to fall into such disrepair," she said.

In its heyday, the hall was a top entertainment spot, even playing host to the Rolling Stones in the 1960s.

In January, a Doctor Who benefit convention, with stars including Peter Davison, David Tennant, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann, raised more than £31,000 for the campaign, known as Project MotorHouse.

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