Monday, January 05, 2009

Harbour Armageddon?

After that last post about Ramsgate being a non-event this year powerboatwise (which I've since had confirmed by sources in the know), it cheers me up no end to report that some of the cultural gloss could be rubbing off mARgaTe™ too!

The rumour that Gallery IOTA is leaving the new, super-duperised harbour arm only a few short months after they moved in has been doing the rounds for some weeks. Now I hear that the there's been quite a contretemps over who is liable for maintaining the building. Clearly the bills could be quite substantial, given that the flippin' thing is sticking right out in the middle of the North Sea. IOTA have now, apparently, got the right royal hump and are about to leg it toute de suite. Which they presumably will have every right to do, given that there's reportedly no ink on any contract yet. Let's hope they return to the Millionaires' Playground where they belong!

If they do exit, it would leave the project looking rather under-subscribed with just a shop, an empty gallery, and a putative restaurant on the end that's yet to come to fruitation (©2000 Kevin Keegan). And, um, just how much taxpayers' money has been thrown at it? I think we should be told! [Cue FOI request]

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

The whole Harbour Arm things smells like the rotten seaweed which frequently washes up against this stone structure. If I had been a trader there, I would have been extremely annoyed - and broke - at the false promises made.

I understand that Fiona Sherriff and her partner Graham Knight, who are both major property delvelopers in Margate, are good friends with a certain Cliftonville carpet business owner and often go on holiday together to far flung parts for some R&R. Perhaps we should be told more - I sense a greater pong of rotting substances here too!

Shinguard said...

Mmm the Harbour Arm,..Love the blue paint not so sure about the orange, looks nice at night though.

Obviously the smell of dead fish and seaweed doesn't mix well with art galleries, but try telling that to Tracey Emmin.

ascu75 aka Don said...

Strange anyone would think of taking on the upkeep of the pier daft idea if seeing as the Council do such a good job.I read in one of Michael's blogs History of Thanet the upkeep was undertaken by collecting Droits (fee's)from cargo loaded on and off coasters maybe we need to start sending coasters from the harbour again?

Bertie Biggles said...

I came in for a great deal of 'stick' concerning this project and it gives me no pleasure to read that my predictions of failure might be happening. It is simply a question of lack of 'foot-fall' when the rain is falling and the wind is blowing in the summer, let alone the weather from Oct to April! An ill-conceived project right from the start , perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Anyone going there today would have had frostbite within a minute.

Anonymous said...

Re. your suggestion about an FOI Act request. Good luck with that as TDC doesn't seem to understand that a request has to be answered within 20 days rather than ignored.I have had requests in and had to send reminders twice and then all I got back was 'We don't have the information you request' when I knew perfectly well they did. Open government is a concept unfamiliar to TDC.

Anonymous said...

Hmm,it is such a shame if phil has left-IOTA was a great asset-interestly IOTA is still on the pictures on the harbour arm website?????

Michael Child said...

Richard I gather that IOTA were told in no uncertain terms that if they didn’t move from Ramsgate to Margate they would no longer receive any support from TDC, so it would seem unlikely that we will get them back.

Anonymous said...

This does not inspire any real outside confidence in Thanet in the current economic climate.

But we did have a nice carpet of white stuff the other morning, perhaps TDC laid that on for us as well...as they are experts at everything evidently.

Eastcliff Richard said...

'Carpet of white stuff' eh? Was that courtesy of Sandy's shagpile emporium?

Anonymous said...

Thanet Council certainly don't understand FOI request, I had the same thing recently. I have necer dealt with such a rubbish council before

The whole cafe culture margate harbour thing is a complete sham anyway.

Anonymous said...

Do gooders such as IOTA, with their community focused art for everyone, don't deserve funding anyway. What we need is high brow stuff the locals couldn't give a stuff about like the Turner Centre. That's where we ought to be spending money - salaries for people who know art, and can't be arsed showing it to the rest of us!

Anonymous said...

1:54 why is the margate cafe culture a sham?The harbour cafe is brilliant as is cafe G and the smoothie bar,it's so easy to be critical and do nothing whereas the people who run these cafe's actually care about the town and are pro-active ie organising a fab jazz event in the summer,helping with the carnival,markets etc.wonder what you contribute to thanet...

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bertie but your wrong, its got nothing to do with 'foot-fall' its a lot more complicated than that.

Anonymous said...

I read today in ITG that Philip was waiting for arts funding for IOTA(he will hear end of Jan)so hopefully he will be back on the Harbour Arm soon!