An in-depth analysis of the economic impact of the Kent harbour town’s creative sector, published today has found that Ramsgate’s cultural renaissance is having a huge impact not only on the local economy but also on the rest of the UK.
Heritage Lab CIC and Canterbury Christ Church University worked in partnership on the Economic Impact report with funding from Locate in Kent and Arts Council England.
Building on their previous research published in November 2019 it is now clear that Ramsgate is fast becoming a major cultural hub.
Key findings include:
- there are approximately 233 creative enterprises in Ramsgate
- Ramsgate’s creative sector adds around £85M to the local economy each year;
- creative individuals living in Ramsgate add around £165M to the UK economy;
- there are 1,491 people living in Ramsgate working in the UK wide creative sector;
- there are approximately 871 people living and working in Ramsgate’s creative sector;
- the survey conducted by Heritage Lab CIC and Canterbury Christ Church University in 2019 reached 228 of these or around 1 in 6 of those working in the sector.
The results of the research, completed by the University in January 2020, illustrate the growing appeal of the South East to the creative industries - identified by Whitehall as a key priority for the UK’s future economic growth. Contributing factors include excellent connectivity to London, lower property prices, the area’s rich heritage, a growing talent pool and vibrant cultural scene.
Heritage Lab CIC is playing a key role in Ramsgate’s transformation by bringing heritage buildings and community assets across the town back into sustainable use and creating high quality community and workspaces and jobs for the area.
Rob Kenyon, CEO and Founder, Heritage Lab CIC, said: “It is clear from this report that our diverse and growing creative sector is putting Ramsgate well and truly on the map and we aim to help the sector to thrive by regenerating some of Ramsgate’s amazing heritage buildings."
Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “This is a really important initiative, one that aligns with the importance of place regeneration across the country. It reflects strongly what we want to achieve with the launch of Let’s Create and I look forward to working closely with stakeholders in Ramsgate to help grow creative opportunities for everyone in the town.”
Professor Mike Weed, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “This report is the first of its kind to show the impact of the creative and digital economy in Ramsgate. Building on our report in 2019 it shows that the Ramsgate creative sector is not only making a great impact on the town but also adds significant growth to the regional and UK economy.
“We are committed to working with our local communities to support the growth for our regional economy. Working with Heritage Lab CIC this project has helped to identify Ramsgate’s current position and its potential within the creative industries in Kent and the Thames Estuary Production Corridor.”
Gavin Cleary, CEO, Locate in Kent, said: “Gavin Cleary, CEO, Locate in Kent, said: “We know that many creative industries and start-ups are concentrated in areas with a rich heritage – and this research backs up the key role Ramsgate is playing in this growth sector.
“Ramsgate is ideally placed as a prime location for those wanting to invest or relocate in Kent and this research provides further useful insight for investors and business leaders about the size and value of the creative cluster in the town.
“This an exciting time for the creative industries in Kent and that is only going to continue as more and more companies see the benefits of locating here – from lower property costs and easy access to London and Europe, to the availability of a growing pool of fantastic talent. The growth we have seen to date in Ramsgate and across the county has put down a marker for the UK, but this is just the start.”
Emma Wilcox, Project Director for Creative Estuary, a new project looking to deliver culture led growth to communities along the Kent and Essex coastline, said: “"As the research shows, Ramsgate has a key role to play in the delivery of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor as a thriving, exciting cultural hub for the UK."
The Creative Ramsgate report from Heritage CIC can be downloaded here .