The Ramsgate Arts Barge Project

by The Ramsgate Arts Barge Project in Ramsgate, England, United Kingdom


raised in 92 days



A 'not-for-profit' community project to renovate a 130-year, 51-metre Dutch barge into a waterfront arts space within Royal Ramsgate Marina

by The Ramsgate Arts Barge Project in Ramsgate, England, United Kingdom

We’re going to create a 'not-for-profit' family-friendly waterfront community arts hub & space for ALL, within Ramsgate Royal Harbour. 

All profits from the Ramsgate Arts Barge will be reinvested back into the project & local community initiatives - to help those in the community who need it most. By supporting this Crowdfunder campaign, your donation will directly support the launch of a sustainable project that once opened, will serve & help the Ramsgate community for generations to come. We cannot do this without you & it will not happen without your support. 

2020 has been a year like no other. We all need some good news and something positive to look forward to...

Introducing... 'Vriendschap' (The Ramsgate Arts Barge)...

  • This project aims to unite the community of Ramsgate & Thanet through a 'not-for-profit' social enterprise project to repair, renovate and refurbish a 130-year old, 51-metre Dutch barge 'Vriendschap' (Dutch for friendship), into a family-friendly waterfront community arts hub & space for ALL. 
  • Over 100+ volunteers have registered to date to be a part of this incredible community venture.
  • To celebrate & champion Ramsgate's unique maritime history, we want to be open in September 2021 -  in time for Ramsgate's 200th year celebrations as the UK's sole Royal Harbour Marina - granted by King George IV in 1821.
  • The project will create Ramsgate’s first large multi-faceted arts events & performance space, hosting a year-round diverse offering of arts events including visual arts, exhibitions, comedy, theatre, art installations, acoustic music, cabaret, film screenings, spoken word, poetry, debates, talks & community events. In addition, a wide range of child & adult art courses, classes & workshops will be available throughout the whole year. 

The key aims & objectives of the 'Ramsgate Arts Barge' project are to:

  • Create NEW Job Opportunities 
  • BOOST and stimulate the local economy by driving increased footfall & tourism into Ramsgate 12-months per year- to everyones benefit. 
  • Provide FREE access to the arts for ALL school children across the Thanet District (which ranks as the most deprived local authority in Kent) through a series of programmes, workshops & events. 
  • Provide ten hours per week FREE community studio hire to all schools, colleges, charities, not-for-profits, performing arts groups & all societies with a social aim & objective operating across Ramsgate, Thanet & Kent.
  • Reinvest all Ramsgate Arts Barge profits back into the project & local community initiatives to address local issues & help those in the community who need it most.

1603124365_ramsgate_mayor_and_the_arts_barge_by_eleanor_marriott-19.jpgMayor of Ramsgate, Raushan Ara "This is a very exciting new venture for our community, which can be accessed all year round and another addition to our harbour". (photo credit: Eleanor Marriott)                                                                                                             The project has already started forming school & educational partnerships across the Thanet District & will continue to do so across all schools in Thanet throughout the Crowdfunding campaign.                                                                                                         Head of Ramsgate Arts Primary School, Nick Budge “This is a fabulously creative project that is set in our town’s internationally-famous harbour, and RAPS is keen to support any idea that expands the creative arts in our community. Our long term vision is to form a learning partnership with the Arts Barge and become an integral part of the proposed educational programme.”

Overview of the 'Ramsgate Arts Barge' project:

  • 'Ramsgate Arts Barge Community Interest Company' is a social-enterprise 'not-for-profit' organisation - all profits from this project go back into the project & community initiatives 
  • In August 2020, RAB CIC took legal ownership of 'Vriendschap'
  • 'Vriendschap' is now a community asset to Ramsgate - it is not hired or leased - it is here to stay and protected under a legal 'asset lock' which prevents it ever being sold for private or personal gain. The more successful this project is - the greater the community benefits, which will last for generations.
  • The permanent mooring has been approved by Thanet District Council - now we need YOUR help to bring this project to life!

External Concept Idea (Image: del Renzio & del Renzio, Architects):

Ramsgate Arts Barge & Community Arts: 

  • Ramsgate Arts Barge will support, assist & champion local artists, providing a large arts space to enable local artists to showcase their work & celebrate the town being a centre of artistic creativity - as highlighted by the 'Creative Ramsgate' report (Heritage Lab, 2019)
  • A number of affordable art studios will be available for hire to local artists for both short & long-term artistic projects.
  • A full range of adult art courses, classes & workshops will be available on the Ramsgate Arts Barge year-round - encouraging day-trippers, overnight stays & tourism into the area - to the local economies benefit. 
  • The project will form partnerships with domestic & overseas arts institutions to create ‘artist in residency’ programmes, attracting established international artist’s in their field. The large events space will serve to attract well known artists across the arts – putting Ramsgate on the map as ‘must-visit’ destination for the arts…
  • The power of arts in a community should not be under-estimated for it's social & economical benefits. Arts have the power to improve well-being & mental health through inclusive activities that will unite, strengthen & create togetherness throughout the whole community. 

Internal/External Concept Ideas (Image: del Renzio & del Renzio, Architects):


The 'Ramsgate Arts Barge' Crowdfunder Campaign:

  • Your donation will help 'do some good' in the world, with the effect & impact of your donation lasting for decades.
  • By making a donation, you will be playing the BIGGEST part in the whole project - directly contributing towards creating a sustainable community arts space that can be enjoyed now and by future generations – ALL because of your generous donation & support.

Where your incredibly kind donation will go: 

We are aiming to raise a total of £97,472 from this Crowdfunding campaign.

ALL money raised will go directly towards the following:

1. Essential steel welding repair works, maintenance & protective painting to the barge. Once these major steel repair works have been completed, the barge will only need light maintenance/protective coat painting re-applied every 10 years. 

2. Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) Feasibility Study (del Renzio & del Renzio - Ramsgate Architects) This in-depth study/report looks at all practical design considerations, recommendations & suggestions prior to the renovation & refurbishment. 

3. Barge Inspection Survey & Repair Consultancy. Like a car MOT, all boats must be inspected, safe & repair works completed if needed. The full hull inspection (bottom of the boat) has already taken place, identifying all the major essential steel work repairs needed.

4. Initial materials for the renovation & refurbishment, protective & safety equipment for volunteers & tool hire. To keep costs down and be as environmentally friendly as possible, we are planning to use as many reclaimed and recycled materials as possible during the renovation & refurbishment. 

5. Project overheads: Mooring, Marine & Public Liability Insurance & Electricity. If we can hit the Crowdfunder target, this will cover all the project overheads throughout the repair, renovation & refurbishment phases, right up until the September 2021 opening.


Let us unite to create an incredible community hub for ALL and finish 2020 on a high, with smiles on our faces & full of optimism of what the future brings...

This isn't a project about a boat - this is a project about hope.

We need YOUR support to make this project possible. Please give what you can - knowing your donation will enable a brighter future for generations to come. We cannot do this without your help. Please donate what you can and be a part of making this incredible community project possible. Thank you.

It's time for community.

Ramsgate Arts Barge CIC (A social enterprise not-for-profit project)

Let's make 'The Ramsgate Arts Barge Project' happen

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