Have your say on the proposed sale of the Ventnor Coastal Centre

The Coastal Centre has a fascinating history, it was bought by the local Ventnor council in 1945 with a loan from the Ministry of Health. Now the Isle of Wight council want to sell it off to the highest bidder rather than let the local council have it for community use.

Ventnor Coastal Centre

A campaign to save the Coastal Centre in Salisbury Gardens, Ventnor from being sold off by the Isle of Wight council was launched tonight.

The following statement was issued by mayor of Ventnor, Steve Stubbings and town clerk, David Bartlett. In their own words. Ed


The Isle of Wight Council’s leadership is determined to sell this unique community resource to the highest bidder; Ventnor Town Council is fighting to retain it as a hub for the town’s future life.

Have your say
Ventnor Town Council wants every Ventnor resident to be able to have their say on this major issue for the town’s future through a unique consultation programme launched at a meeting of over 80 members of the town’s voluntary sector on Wednesday 30 January.

That will be followed by the delivery to all Ventnor’s more than 3,500 households of a Briefing Paper with details of the actions of both Councils.

It contains a reply paid post card to register support for the Town Council’s campaign to retain the building as a centre for the town’s services along with attractive and resourced spaces for business start-ups.

Leave your comments and sign the petition
Anyone wanting to comment in more detail is invited to use the Consultation area of our web site or to email or write to the Town Clerk.

Town Councillors are also organising a Petition for residents and visitors to sign and a blank copy of it will be downloadable from the website for supporters to use.

An ‘Asset of Community Value’
Ventnor Town Council has nominated Salisbury Gardens for inclusion in the Isle of Wight Council’s List of Assets of Community Value. The case for Ventnor to retain it rests on the following:

  • Salisbury Gardens has been a feature of the town’s life for 140 years;
  • Ventnor Urban District Council bought it in 1945 and remains the only Council to have actually paid for it;
  • Ventnor Town Council has a clear and costed Business Plan for it to make a major contribution to the town’s economic regeneration;
  • it is the natural base for the town’s other civic services about to be, or at risk of being, moved from their existing buildings: the Library, the Youth Service, the Police and NHS services;
  • the town has recently lost to private ownership its other two iconic attractions – the Winter Gardens and the Botanic Gardens – handed over by the Isle of Wight Council for the sum of £1 each.

The briefing document is embedded below for your convenience. It’s well worth a read, there’s some fascinating facts within it.




Location map
View the location of this story in Ventnor, England, United Kingdom.

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Wednesday, 30th January, 2013 9:50pm

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Filed under: History, Isle of Wight News, Small Business, Top story, Town Council, Ventnor

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9 Comments

  1. binnel ghost's comment is rated -6 Vote +1 Vote -1

    31.Jan.2013 11:40am

    WHY oh Why did Ventnor town Council put this much effort into saving the Winter Gardens for our community!!!

    Reply
    • binnel ghost's comment is rated -3 Vote +1 Vote -1

      31.Jan.2013 4:18pm

      • Mike's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

        31.Jan.2013 6:20pm

        I was wondering how long it woukd take before the WG was mentioned. Fir the hundreth time VTC had NO choice but to stop subsiding this building. The County Council were quite willing to pass the whole cost of running it onto VTC Imagine the outcry if this cost had been passed ontothe reatpayers.

        Its a myth that VTC didnt do anything but there again why let the truth get in the way of a good story

        Reply
        • binnel ghost's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

          31.Jan.2013 8:44pm

          I think if you were to get out and ask the people of Ventnor which building they would prefer the town council to save they would tell you the WG. Yes we who care will continue to cite the WG as what has happened is an absolute disgrace. If the town council had backed the Rescue group the WG would have opened in the summer of 2011 instead of being the mouldering wreck it is now.

          Reply
          • fatrob's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

            31.Jan.2013 8:54pm

            binnel’s ghost… you clearly don’t know much about the situation. I would love to sit here and tell you all the reasons why it wasn’t, in the end, the fault of VTC but you probably don’t even want to listen to reason. Hence you are just saying what you hear from everyone else. The presentation about why the Winter Gardens was closed is on this blog, and I have also seen MANY reasons (posted on these stories) as to why the Rescue Group didn’t get it, so I suggest you look there. The CVC is a completely different kettle of fish, and the IWC have really messed up

  2. Richard Smith's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

    31.Jan.2013 2:16pm

    What useful purpose does this building serve? Do any tourists use it? Can anyone suggest a decent use for it for community benefit, which won’t cost a fortune? Either use it as a consolidated local services hub, or sell it with ‘on account’ fiscal destination accountability; with Ventnor the beneficiary. If it is effectively given away – and it’s not a bad spot – this would be irresponsible.We need to know where the money goes folks! Some hotel chain would love this property surely? The views have to be worth serious lucre, and this is what will happen if we don’t figure out a financially self sufficient future for it – that’s tough, don’t under estimate the problem.

    Reply
  3. steephilljack's comment is rated +11 Vote +1 Vote -1

    31.Jan.2013 3:29pm

    This really is scandalous behaviour by David Pugh. The VTC has proceeded correctly, secured support and funding for their application but David Pugh has ignored them and deliberately caused delay so that he can rush into a sale.

    I would think that if he now rejects the Community Right to Bid nomination he would be failing to implement the legislation in the Localism Act 2011.

    I would think it worth his while to buy some votes in Ventnor before the May elections, but maybe he knows that it’s already too late for that.

    I urge every Ventnorian to sign the petition and spread it around. I hope that our two County Councillors are working on it too. Well done VTC and good luck.

    Reply
  4. Rowan's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

    5.Feb.2013 11:23am

    I can see that the Coastal Visitor Centre building would fetch a lot of money for conversion to a hotel or flats, but I don’t think that’s the point.

    For me the point is that the the Isle of Wight Council have already got rid of responsibility for Ventnor Botanic Garden and Ventnor Winter Gardens (and they’d have sold off Ventnor Library if we hadn’t stopped them) so Ventnor now has almost no public spaces.
    The crucial line is
    ‘Ventnor Urban District Council bought it in 1945 and remains the only Council to have actually paid for it’.
    I can’t see that it’s fair for the Isle of Wight Council to presume to sell an asset that somebody else paid for.

    When the Coastal Visitor Centre building actually hosted the Coastal Visitor Centre it was a great place to visit, but sadly there wasn’t any publicity for it from the Isle of Wight Council (just as there wasn’t for Ventnor Botanic Garden until – from memory – about a year before it was sold) or even a signpost to it from the town centre, so lots of residents and visitors never even knew it was there, and they missed out on the experience. Perhaps if more people had known about it and supported it, it would have been harder for the Council to close it.

    Reply

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