Council Pledges £200k To £1m Five Year Botanic Garden Investment

Council confirm they will invest £200,000 in the Ventnor Botanic Garden on disposal of lease to the Ventnor Botanic Garden Community Interest Company

Paperwork for next week’s Cabinet meeting reveals that up to £1,000,000 will be invested into the Ventnor Botanic Garden over the next five years.

MoneyThe Isle of Wight council will be asked to approve investment of £200,000 at next week’s meeting as well as approve the disposal of the Ventnor Botanic Garden on a 125 year leasehold basis to Ventnor Botanic Garden Community Interest Company (VBG CIC).

The new VBG CIC, being headed up by John Curtis promises to invest circa. £800,000 over the coming five years.

Full details are available in the document embedded below for your convenience.

Image: Bert 23 under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 16th May, 2012 12:46pm



Filed under: Community, Isle of Wight News, Ventnor

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14 Comments on "Council Pledges £200k To £1m Five Year Botanic Garden Investment"

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wonder at what stage the prospective operator of the gardens knew about this?

Peter E

And what safeguards are in place should his investment fail to materialise? His plan assumes income from admissions. What happens if it is not as expected? Too many unanswered questions.

‘He’s a millionaire’ is a great bit of hearsay, but that doesn’t pay the bills.

Steephill Jack

John Curtis has explained that any profits will go to the VBG CIC and any loss will be his.

Mr J

Up to what point? Sorry, but this is all a little vague for my liking. Suppose his circumstances change and he cannot underwrite the losses?

This deal is oh so typical IWC. As ever, they know best and no-one should dare question the detail or ask awkward questions.


Help me out here please!

IoW Council wanted to get rid of Ventnor Botanic Garden because it claimed it was losing £250,000 each year on keeping it open.

NOW it planning to plough £200,000 each year for 5 years into a privatised “Ventnor Botanic Garden”!

Joined up thinking? Or is there an additional hidden deal we don’t know about?

Steephill Jack

It looks to me, from the Executive Summary,that the Council will offer £200,000 just once for capital improvements, while the VBG CIC will offer £800,000 over five years.
It’s a bit ambiguous, but that’s the sense I get from it.

Chris Cowley

Ventnor Botanic Gardens is one of my favourite places on the Island so this is really exciting stuff. I’ve just caught up and listened to the podcast you did with Mr Curtis which was very informative too.

Mr J

So if the new venture burns up the council’s £200,000 initial investment and does not generate its own £200,000 what happens?

Simple question. What does the council intend doing to see that the promised investment actually happens and what powers does it retain if the money does not get invested?


“So if the new venture burns up the council’s £200,000 initial investment and does not generate its own £200,000 what happens?”

then thats the way it goes and you should vote for someone else next year. Thats the system. if politicians screw up, we get to vote them out.


The decision document says that the money will only be spent on production of receipts for specific capital work to be done, which it seems need to be done anyway.

You could argue that it is the Council investing in the estate to get it into a servicable state for the new owners.


Savings from library closures amassed less than £200,000, where does the Council get the money to finance this?

Reading the decision document it seems that the revenue cost of the Gardens to the Council is currently £193k per year or £965k (excluding inflation) over 5 years. By selling the Gardens the Council won’t need to pay that money except for about £25k per year of pension contributions so I would imagine that is how they will fund the £200k, leaving them £640k (£965k – 5x£25k… Read more »
Sailor Sam

Maybe by closing the TIC’s… apparently that saved them £250k per year.