Ramsey Town Commissioners are delighted to announce they have reached agreement with The Heart of Ramsey (THOR) Limited, a not-for-profit charitable organisation, to bring forward the next stage of development for Ramsey Courthouse. Following the Expressions of Interest process started last year the Commission has signed Heads of Agreement and granted THOR a 12-month period of exclusivity to allow the trustees to finalise their plans and secure funding for the proposed alterations to the building.
The Heads of Agreement that have been signed form the basis of terms upon which a formal lease agreement will be entered into following the obtaining of Statutory Consents at the successful culmination of the period of exclusivity.
The Heart of Ramsey is led by trustees Tim Baker MHK, Bride-based Cook Shack proprietor and SKILS chairman Georgie Revill, co-founder of architectural practice Penketh-Millar Chris Penketh, local businessman Nigel Watson and business development manager Emma Watson, who will act as THOR’s secretary and director of marketing.
Mr Baker said: ‘We are delighted to have reached agreement with Ramsey Town Commissioners for the future of Ramsey Courthouse and are very excited about the prospect of developing this much-loved building into a vibrant, community facility which will be well used throughout the year.
‘Securing the Heads of Agreement is the culmination of over 12 months’ work, during which time The Heart of Ramsey team - non-remunerated trustees who are solely interested in giving back to the community of Ramsey and the North - have come together with a shared purpose and determination to make this happen.
‘The Courthouse’s location right at the heart of Ramsey gives it huge potential and significance. Its history and heritage make it a significant landmark in the town. We will now restore and re-purpose the Courthouse so it may continue to play an equally significant role in the future of Ramsey and the North.
‘We believe that our vision reflects the desires which were expressed by the community when the Department of Home Affairs offered Ramsey Courthouse for sale two years ago. We now have an opportunity to create an outstanding multi-purpose facility which will have something to offer everyone and will further reinforce the great progress that Ramsey has made in recent years.
‘A lot of hard work is ahead of us, including a major building renovation project. Substantial fundraising will be required over the coming months. I am confident, however, that we have the right people and approach to turn this vision into reality, working collaboratively with Ramsey Town Commissioners and with the support of the whole community of the North.’
Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Andy Cowie said: ‘We are pleased to have entered into this preliminary agreement with The Heart of Ramsey trustees, who are all clearly sensitive to the vital community role the Courthouse has served – and will once again serve – in the life of our town.
‘The Commissioners look forward to working with The Heart of Ramsey to unlock the building’s potential as a multi-purpose, dynamic and inclusive amenity and return the Courthouse to its rightful status as the community hub and heart of Ramsey for generations to come. The Commissioners will continue to operate the courthouse for the benefit of the town through the period of exclusivity.
There will be an open weekend at the Courthouse on both Saturday June 29 and Sunday June 30 from 12 noon until 3.30pm, when the public will be able to meet with The Heart of Ramsey trustees, view plans of the proposed alterations and offer their own ideas about the building’s future use.