The building being renovated in December 2020 Photo: Canterbury City Council

A rundown shed on Whitstable Harbour’s south quay has been transformed from an eyesore into an attractive space that can be used by a wide variety of businesses.

The leases for the 15 self-contained units laid out over two floors in the South Quay Shed are being offered to businesses by Canterbury City Council which operates the harbour and will be available from autumn  this year.

Planning permission has been secured for a variety of uses including for shops, restaurants, cafes, hot-food takeaways and leisure and the building will be open to the public from 9am to 8pm between 2 March and 30 October and between 9am and 5pm for the rest of the year.

South Quay Shed from across Whitstable Harbour

Whitstable Harbour, south quay building- ready for business Photo: Canterbury City Council

Cllr Neil Baker, Lead Councillor for the Coast and Chair of Whitstable Harbour Board said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to tap into the harbour’s continuing success story and our determination to ensure it is enjoyed by as many people as possible.

“Projects like this one allow us to invest in new facilities for the local fishing industry while putting the community at the harbour’s heart with a community pop-up space.

“While the South Quay Shed is black on the outside because of its traditional timber board cladding, its green credentials shine through because of its extensive solar panels which will store any excess energy in a battery.

“High-specification glazing has been used which has a coating to keep out the heat in the summer and reduce heat loss in the winter. 

“The highly insulated roof has transparent sections to improve natural light and the communal lighting is provided by the latest LED lights.”

The South Quay Shed will also have free Wi-Fi access.

The council predicts competition for these units will be intense and demand will outstrip supply.

Preference will be given to those businesses that:

  • are local businesses
  • are sole traders rather than large organisations
  • will boost jobs locally
  • do not use single-use plastics
  • stick to sustainable business practices
  • demonstrate benefits to the local economy or harbour-related trades

For more information or to express an interest, email

By Ed

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