Upcoming workshop to discuss new ideas for Ryde

Ideas and opportunities for the future regeneration of Ryde will be discussed with Ryde residents at an upcoming workshop.

The workshop at Ryde Castle on 2 May, at 7pm is the latest in a series organised by the Isle of Wight Council to identify practical things that can be done to address three priorities identified by local people – bringing large empty buildings across the town back into use; ‘greening’ Ryde; and considering youth provision.

Chris Ashman, director of regeneration, said: “When we’re thinking about future options for regeneration of the town – it’s important to gather thoughts and suggestions from people and businesses in the area throughout the process.

“My team is carrying out a lot of background work, reviewing previous consultations and proposals and testing out many different possibilities. We are looking at what may be financially viable, but also how the hopes and ambitions of the community might also be achieved.

“Some people have suggested that we intend to sell off public spaces, or that we have already decided on a plan for Ryde. That is certainly not true.

“Young people who attended our youth conference in early March showed some wonderful insight into what could be achieved at Ryde Esplanade; and we will be sharing some of these ideas with residents as the Ryde conversation continues over the coming months.”

Identified as one of five potential Island sites for regeneration, Ryde Esplanade could provide an exciting and vibrant area for recreation, leisure and commerce, as well as meeting the identified priorities of local people.

Improving the seafront area would enhance the wider town and generate more business rate income for the council; an ambition of the regeneration programme as a whole.

“The opportunity of regeneration for Ryde is exciting,” said Councillor Dave Stewart, leader of the council. “As a gateway to the Island, it is a great location to showcase the golden beaches and beautiful public spaces of the town. We are still very much listening to residents, and I’m keen to see the ideas progress to a place where we can bring them forward for formal consultation.”