There are long term proposals being brought back to light this evening (Thursday 27th October 2016) about a multi-million pound development of The Port of Ramsgate to make it commercially competitive. Reports currently suggest £4m from Government and £2m from Thanet District Council and up to a million lorries a year for a mainly freight operation, building a new berth for cross-channel ferries. In a further phase, it would see a freight logistics hub at Manston Business Park, right next to Manston Airport.
The bid for Government money was originally too late, but will be put in again. Which all sounds very much like the plans for a Enterprise Zone we exposed back in October 2015, that you can read here for the “Port of Ramsgate and Manston Cluster”: http://www.supportmanstonairport.org/thanet-and-the-case-of-the-hidden-enterprise-zone/
It will be interesting to follow the developments with this and to see relevant parties comments about how this may fit in with the different plans for Manston. Clearly it was a bid that wasn’t meant to be dependent on the reuse of Manston as an airport, but does it not open the door to thoughts of a combined air and sea hub for the area.
We hope that when the more details are released in time, the plans will allow the port to return to proper use, bringing much needed revenue and employment to the area, just as we continue to campaign for Manston Airport to do the same. Undoutably there will be concerns over possible pollution aspects and impact on the Royal Harbour and they will have to be properly assessed, but it would be good for the port road and tunnel to be finally used as intended.