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The Granville Theatre in Ramsgate has been put up for sale

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A much-loved seaside theatre which has provided entertainment for more than 70 years has been put up for sale on the open market.

The Granville in Ramsgate has been shut since the beginning of the pandemic, but not-for-profit group the Kent Film Foundation had hoped to breathe new life into the building.

The Granville Theatre in Ramsgate
The Granville Theatre in Ramsgate

KFF had submitted a bid to Thanet District Council, which owns the premises, to take over the freehold through a "community asset transfer".

It was after the authority launched a Community Right to Bid in October, meaning groups could express an interest in bidding for the freehold of the theatre, which is listed as an Asset of Community Value.

KFF wanted to created an arts centre called The Sandcastle, boasting a new theatre space, two cinema screens and an organic restaurant.

They wanted to include a workshop space for youth film clubs in addition to a youth theatre and orchestra in partnership with Pie Factory music.

The scheme would have been a 'green build' with a bee-friendly roof terrace.

How The Sandcastle would have looked. Picture: Kent Film Foundation
How The Sandcastle would have looked. Picture: Kent Film Foundation

But despite overwhelming support for the plans, the authority turned down the bid, sparking outcry from the community and the launch of a petition which secured thousands of signatures.

However, the venue, opened in 1947, has now been put up for sale although no price has been revealed.

A statement from the council explains: "The Granville Theatre was designated as an asset of community value in October 2019.

"Bids were recently invited from interested parties who wished to undertake a Community Asset Transfer.

"A submission was received from the Kent Film Foundation but did not meet the criteria required for it to be successful.

"The Community Right to Bid phase expired on Wednesday, April 20, and Miles & Barr Commercial has now been appointed to market the property for a period of at least six weeks.

"After this date, all offers received will be reviewed and assessed."

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