Ryde Town Council have this week completed the purchase of St Thomas’ Church, as they seek to ensure that the iconic building is protected and preserved for community use.
Plans are now being developed for the building to become a focal point for the community. A number of uses are being considered, together with providing a base for Ryde’s youth service, Network Ryde, which needs extra space to cope with growing demand and to expand their range of services.
Bex Swan, Network Ryde Youth Services Manager, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for us at Network Ryde to bring our provision to an even wider audience. We very much look forward to working alongside the young people who will make use of the building being part of the design process and deciding for themselves what is required there.
“We want to build on the legacy that we already have at our current centre and enhance it. For example, to provide a confidential room for young people to meet with youth workers and agencies as well as a fully kitted out kitchen so we can cook with the produce from our allotment.”
Ryde Mayor, Michael Lilley, added: “It is great news about Ryde Town Council now owning St Thomas’ Church which is an important part of our town’s heritage. It is even more fantastic that it is going to be used by young people and Ryde’s award-winning youth service, Network Ryde.
“There is a real commitment to bring our neglected community and historic assets back into community ownership and productive use and this is an excellent example.”
You can find information about Network Ryde at networkryde.co.uk or on their Instagram or Facebook pages.