Friday, March 07, 2014

A Vision For The Pavilion

video
The lovely Emma Irvine (she of the Albion House Hotel) has given me first dibs on a short film she's just made about her non-Wetherspoons vision for the Royal Victoria Pavilion, here in the Ms' P.

It includes interviews with Ramsgate's very own Gaddfather of Ale, plus the owners of Miles Bar, Wyatt & Jones in Broadstairs, Margate Smokehouse, and others who are keen to invest in what could be a centre of excellence for food and drink in Thanet, attracting visitors from East Kent and beyond. All part of the plan to transform our septic isle from the last resort into a destination resort.

Do take a look, then email Chief Duffer Clive Hart or some such and tell them what you want. They're making their minds up, in a Bucks Fizz kind of way, right now. In fact, word has it that Coiffeured Clive is currently in the process of ripping his skirt off, so get in quick!

Personally I think Emma may be onto something. After all, who ever said 'I know, let's go to such-and-such a place, it's got a ginormous Wetherspoons'?!?!!

Meanwhile, er, I'd like to welcome Emma Irvine and her My Seaside Luxury apartments firm as the latest sponsors of these jottings. No conflict of interest for me there, then.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

lololol. dickie - nothing wrong with a spoon, i tell you!

Anonymous said...

Have just watched the film and am impressed. Emma has the vision, professionalism and the energy to see this through and I admire her for it. I am sure it will be of benefit to her as an individual and as a business woman, but then a planned, quality future for Ramsgate will benefit us all. This project has my full support.

Anonymous said...

The Royal Tunbridge Wells Opera House doubles as a pub.

Anonymous said...

NOOOOOOO!!!!
Wetherspoons,please,please.Those wonderful CAMRA people have just given me £20 of vouchers for any Wetherspoons establish.The food is good value aswell.Are you all scared of a bit of competition?

Anonymous said...

Wetherspoons have the finances.

Anonymous said...

So do the local businesses that want to set up there.

Anonymous said...

Pigs Fly !

Anonymous said...

All along the seafront,food and drink is far too expensive.Believe it or not Pfizer has left the area along with 5,000 jobs.Wetherspoons curry and a pint of real ale £5.Good value.

Anonymous said...

The best result is to go to Gadds brewery and buy your beer there.Walk to the Pavilion with fresh baguettes sit outside and watch the sea on a sunny day.Bliss!

Anonymous said...

The Pav is in a terrible state inside and out.It needs at least £3 million spent on it just to bring it up to date.I'm sure 25 outlets have not got that sort of money between.

Anonymous said...

interesting that Paul Carter has offered £1M towards restoration

Anonymous said...

So with a mill from KCC and some other public and private money a pig could indeed fly! I'd rather that than the pigs that fly over from Manston!

Tony said...

'I know, let's go to Folkestone, it's got a ginormous Wetherspoons.

Anonymous said...

Since when did people visit the beach to shop for vittles?

Does this mean the pleasurama site will be paved over for a car park and bus drop off point?

Better if it were a family seaside attraction that offered something for the youngsters, to provide those happy memories of Ramsgate for future generations and keep them coming back

Ask the youth, they think Thanet is a shithole, they are the future of the isle and that is where the perception shift should be focused

Emmas plan does not appear to be forward thinking

John Holyer said...

This is a seductive proposal from Emma, and is one that I would welcome. I wish her well.

As in all things the devil lies in the detail. Not least who is to pay for the refurbishment of the Pav, which I understand is in a parlous state?

Anonymous said...

Worried about KCC getting involved, when it fails they'll get houses built on the site.

Anonymous said...

Decision was supposed to be this week. Why are we waiting?

Anonymous said...

Looks like ECR bought and paid for by Emma. This is just a random collection of businesses with no vision at all for the Pavilion. It sounds like the indoor market again or some sort of Chinagate showpiece thingy. Duff indeed.

Marva Rees said...

Wetherspoons can afford to restore the Pavilion. They are a cheap but good place to eat and drink. I've been to a lot of Wetherspoon pubs and the only one I wouldn't want to go to again is the one in Barking.

If the Celandine Hall is going to be empty soon why don't the people who want a place for a number of small businesses go there? York Street could do with a boost.

Big Bopper 69 said...

Agree 100% Marva,A sunny day sitting on the balcony of the Pav with a pint of Gadds.Heaven! Spoons have it,quicker the better.

Anonymous said...

Because of the Spoons in Stoke and EDL rally I was against Spoons.

But lately my wife and I have had lunch in a Spoons on south coast a few times. It is really good. Food good even though low priced. Adnams ale. Very good service.

But this is an area of the south with a strong residents assn, a very active prospective tory candidate MP and a police force who patrol town centre. So it appears that licencees are not left to struggle alone to keep dross out.

The age old problem in Thanet is that the area has proprtionalely fewer police than other areas of Kent. Their licensing officers tend to put the whole onus for public order policing on to the unspupported licensed trade.

Tis was the reason long ago that Ramsgate Mayor L Richard Taylor and MP Jonathan Aitken sent a report to Home Secretary. A report from Neros Head Bouncer that suggested a bye law for Thanet licensing door stewards like cab drivers. To yield bouncers the power to report annually to licensing justices on Thanet Police.

The idea was plagiarised at Home Office and became eventually the far from perfect SIA licensing of door stewards scheme. But the original idea to create a monitor and report of licensing and public order policing has never been allowed.

My view is that Spoons if given the proper environment of policing can do a good job.

If you cast your minds back to rules like visiting coaches having to be out of Margate by 6 PM. The meagre police night shift drinking in lock ins at Westgate or visiting the nurses quarters at the hospital, while bouncers kept the public safe. That is what played a part in destroying a resort economy.

Mind you it is win win because I like Emma's ideas and enthusiasm too.




Anonymous said...

How many of these pro Wetherspoons comments have been made by people in the pay of Wetherspoons I wonder? They are a large, ruthless business who are not above sharp business practice when it comes to getting what they want, although one does have to question why they want the UK's biggest pub in Ramsgate of all places.

James said...

Anonymous 10:21: do you have any evidence to back up your assertion that Wetherspoons "...are a large, ruthless business who are not above sharp business practice when it comes to getting what they want"

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact I do James. I have known some fairly high up people at Wetherspoons and the ethos is 'what Wetherspoons wants, Wetherspoons gets'. I for one will be looking very closely at whether Clive gets a shiny new car or another fab holiday if they get the Pav.

As for Spoons enhancing an area, they own the Mechanical Elephant in Margate and that, like many of their pubs, is more like a drop-in centre for unemployable alcoholics than a great place to eat and drink, which is what many of the commentators here seem to think the Pav will be. My prediction is that 40% of the bars, pubs and restaurants in Ramsgate will be boarded up within a couple of years if Wetherspoons move in.

Anonymous said...

10 March 2014 Ramsgate is once again the capital of the live export trade. Why don't they just shut the port. All it brings is gross misery and vast expense.

Homer said...

10.45am Wetherspoons is great value,good food and a wide selection of real ales.I am a very wealthy man,who owns several homes and a local business.I would not take my family to spoons if it was full of drop outs,it is very well policed.I will not pay for over priced food and drink which most of Ramsgate Seafront is.A penny saved is a penny earned!

Anonymous said...

Doh!

Marva Rees said...

I feel a bit insulted by the suggestion that people like me are being bribed by Wetherspoons to comment favourably!

Re the Mechanical Elephant, I've never noticed anyone in it who seemed like "an unemployable alcoholic". (Do they look different from high-functioning alcoholics? I know several of them...)Of course the clientele changes during the day/evening, so perhaps I just haven't been there early or late enough.

Anonymous said...

I was neither for nor against Wetherspoons, just wanted something done with the pavilion. But I have just watched this film and realised that at least we know what Emma and her associates want to do with it. I have seen nothing from Wetherspoons so on that basis alone Emma gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

And where does the money for the repairs come from?

Anonymous said...

One million from KCC's Regional Growth Fund and the rest from private businesses who want to set up there. They may also be able to get some public funding. That's how I understand it at least. Emma is already proving she is a serious player with her million pound plus restoration of Albion House I would much rather see local businesses in control of the pavilion than a gigantic anonymous pubco that quite frankly could not give a sh1t about Ramsgate or Thanet.

Anonymous said...

So 3.28, you want us to sponsor this project via £1million of our money, plus possible future public funding. Why on earth should we, when there is a highly-respectable and self-financing private company willing to step in with what (at least for some) would prove a popular venue? Local businesses' first concern is turning a profit, not benefiting the community, so spare us that sentimental argument.

Anonymous said...

That's the kind of shortsighted thinking 3.36 that got Thanet in the mess it is today. Like some two bob tart we have pulled our knickers down for anybody with a few quid to spare because we are so desperate. Have a bit of pride and confidence in the area for goodness sake. And you think Wetherspoons only concern isn't profit? You've got to be joking surely? I'm not a fan of public money being used either but if the idiots in Maidstone are chucking it away I would rather they chucked it our way.

Anonymous said...

Of course Wetherspoons' over-riding concern is profit - just as is local businesses'. The only difference is that we wouldn't be coughing up £1 million to subsidise Wetherspoons. Your remark that if money's being wasted, it might as well be wasted on us, is exactly the thinking that perpetuates the whole wretched system.

John Holyer said...

Some people do not understand or affect not to understand that private business exists to make a profit, and there is no crime in that. I resist any attempt by government to get their hands on my money. The trouble with socialism is that it works well until it runs out of our money.

I am all for Emma's proposal. But not to the extent that it involves large handouts of public money. In which case I would go with a private funded Wetherspoons or the like.

Anonymous said...

The public money is going to be spent anyway. There's nothing that can be done about that. If you disagree with it being spent, talk to Paul Carter, not that he will listen.

As a lifelong Tory voter, it also makes me sick that our taxes are being spent in this way and cannot for the life of me understand why a Blue administration in Maidstone is hellbent on socialist style subsidies. But if it is not spent here, then it will be spent in Canterbury or Deal or Whitstable or Folkestone, so why not spend it in Thanet is all I'm saying.

The Tall Angry Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack Vaughn said...

I like the proposal, but I'm not sure it would work.
A huge amount of investment is needed to bring this wonderful building back to it's best.
If Wetherspoons are going to fund it, I'm not sure what return they expect. I'm also not sure what impact it would have on other bars and pubs in the area, as their are a finite number of customers, so we'd need something to draw people in from outside the area. Wetherspoons isn't going to do that.
Don't get me wrong, I like that Spoons put on a good range of Real Ales, and you can get a meal for less than a fiver, but I'd rather see a smaller Spoons in Ramsgate. To really bring people in, the Pavilion has got to be offering something to people. Live music, good food, good drink and a real hub where people can come.

Anonymous said...

I would knock it down. It's a bit of victorian vandalism. It only serves as somewhere for the local heroin dealer to offload his scag in the dry anyway. That's no good to us DFL's who only touch coke.

Anonymous said...

Emma's proposal is rather weak in what happens if one of the many businesses involved pulls out? Or is it just the indoor market stall scenario again?

Similarly Wetherspoon are the pub equivalent of Tesco and provide no real difference to the area - and likely to undercut the other local businesses.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Jack at 6:47 something special is needed to make best use of the building. A wetherspoons drinking shed and minimum wage bar shifts isn't inspiring. Neither Rank nor TDC have safeguarded it and no doubt more than KCC's £1M will be required.

Anonymous said...

Emma has said publicly that her tenants will be secured in standard leases before she shall commit to the lease and if she has the money then why wouldn't we want local businesses? Hardly any KCC money has come to Thanet, Albion House and Royal harbour Hotel being the only two successful recipients. If we can get more for Thanet, we should do. The question I want to know is why TDC said they couldn't have any input into who takes on the lease and now they are saying they are considering all interested parties, so which is it?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jack 6.47 also. In answer to his 'what return would Wetherspoons expect' that's a simple answer. The council were essentially going to sell the freehold for £1. It's a 20,000sqft building and 13,000sqft of it is going to be a super-pub. That leaves 7,000sqft of space. If they achieve £100,000 per annum on the rest of the space in rents, i.e. on the 7,000sqft which is very achievable, they will be getting a 5% return on their money. By that I mean £100k is 5% of £2m and £2m is what the estimated costs of refurbishing the premises is. Not bad really. That's what I call a no-brainer!

Anonymous said...

If that's the case are they are getting a free pub too? Or am I missing something...

Anonymous said...

Allowing a big company to take over The Pavilion didn't pan out too well for Ramsgate last time cf Rank. The local proposal will mean any profits stay in the area instead of going straight out to the City of London. Wetherspoons will pay low wages, hit all the locally owned cafes along Harbour Parade and put alcohol right on the beach. Bet the police must be well chuffed about that.

Anonymous said...

You will be coughing a £1million to subsidise whoever takes over The Pavilion and here's how - the Business Premises Renovation Allowance. It provides a 100% tax relief to property owners on money spent on conversion or renovation works on buildings in a specified area. Thanet is a specified area and the scheme has been extended.

Anonymous said...

People are always complaining that big companies like Wetherspoons, Costa Coffee and Tesco pay low wages, but where is the evidence that small local businesses pay a higher rate? Perhaps you can name some Thanet examples?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:42,

Yes, and your point is?

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