Ramsgate hopes for coastal fund grants

Brenda Blethyn
Image caption Ramsgate resident Brenda Blethyn has backed the theatre and cinema complex for the West Cliff Hall

A theatre and cinema complex backed by actors Peter Capaldi and Brenda Blethyn is among schemes hoping to attract government cash for a coastal town.

Project MotorHouse wants to restore Ramsgate's derelict West Cliff Hall, which once housed a motor museum.

MotorHouse director Janet Fielding met coastal communities minister Mark Francois to explain the plans as he toured the Kent harbour and town.

Mr Francoise said Ramsgate "might well get lucky".

The minister was in Ramsgate to launch a new £90m Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) for 2017/18.

Since it began in 2012, the CCF has given 218 grants worth £125m to coastal projects across the UK.

Nearby Margate has received £1.9m in regeneration grants from the the CCF.

'Fair share'

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said: "There is a feeling in Ramsgate that they haven't had their fair share so I'm hoping that in the next round we can get a bit and help its economic regeneration."

Ms Fielding, who played Doctor Who's companion in the 1980s, organised a convention for fans in 2014 at which Doctor Who actor Capaldi helped raised funds for Project MotorHouse.

Blethyn, who lives in Ramsgate, has also backed the project.

Image caption Ramsgate also wants to see regeneration in the harbour area

As well as MotorHouse, Ramsgate hopes CCF grants will help regenerate the town square by the harbour and a coastal footpath.

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