Council sell former Ryde church for £75,000

Two council buildings have sold, generating £278,000 for reinvestment, but one was well below the asking price.

st thomas church

The IWC share details of this news. Ed

Historic St Thomas Church in the centre of Ryde is one of two Isle of Wight Council-owned buildings which have been sold – generating £278,000 for reinvestment.

The church was transferred to the council by the Church Commissioners for England for community use in 2005, but lack of demand meant it has largely been unused in recent years.

Two buildings sold
Now it has been sold for £75,000 to a private individual, and as a grade II listed building its future preservation and use will be properly protected.

Also sold by the council has been the former County Archaeology Centre in Clatterford Road, Carisbrooke, which has been empty for the past year. It has been purchased by a private individual for £203,000.

Former County Archaeology Centre in Clatterford Road, Carisbrooke

Cllr Stuart Hutchinson, Cabinet member for resources, said,

“St Thomas Church is an historically-important and symbolic building in the heart of Ryde – but which sadly has had a fairly chequered recent history in terms of levels of use. We are pleased to have found a buyer to help preserve its future, which reassuringly will be governed by planning protections and church covenants.

“The former Clatterford Road, was previously a school site, and has been empty since our archaeology service moved to Westridge at Ryde.

“Both buildings were at risk of deterioration and were incurring significant costs to maintain their security and to prevent vandalism. The capital generated from their sale will be reinvested as part of our ongoing commitment to regeneration, productivity and growth for the Island.”

Fact file
The current St Thomas Church was rebuilt in 1827 for George Player, whose family owned much of the land in and around Ryde.

It ceased to be used as a church in 1959 and fell into disrepair, before being rescued by the Friends and then Trust of St Thomas, and for a period after 1987 was run as an Australian Bicentenary Heritage Centre. The first fleet to Australia had sailed from off Ryde 200 years earlier.

The churchyard next to St Thomas Church, a green open space in the heart of the town, is also owned by the council, and was not part of the sale.

Image: © Gully Howard

Wednesday, 6th December, 2017 4:14pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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5 Comments on "Council sell former Ryde church for £75,000"

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Seriously? Such a beautiful building for £75k?
Surely this can’t be the commercial value of that site? Even with restrictions. This seems to be a little low.
Does anyone have any experience on this kind of issue that can assure me they haven’t just sold off one of the most stunning buildings in Ryde for a pittance?

Steve Goodman
As documented here OTW for years, many of us do have experience of the con. council’s treatment of another one of the most stunning, beautiful, and Listed Island buildings which was also “an historically-important and symbolic building in the heart of” E.Cowes, whose ‘future they were supposed to have preserved, reassuringly governed by planning and other protections’, and whose avoidable ‘deterioration then incurred significant financial and time… Read more »

I suspect there is significant repair work required. The cost of restoring buildings like this can often be higher than the final commercial value, which itself may be limited by the high ongoing maintenance costs.

And this from a council that is going to borrow £100 million to invest in, er, property. The business acumen of the IWC is sorely lacking. These two properties can be added to the long list of giveaways including the Ventnor Botanic Garden, the Winter Gardens, Ryde Theatre, Ryde Arena and many more. There is a lack of imagination in using the diminishing list of assets. Churches… Read more »
Fred Karno
It would be very interesting to know who has purchased this building and what purpose they intend to use it for. The building also now has no heating at all. Those with a memory may recall that an underfloor heating system was installed some years ago. (About 15 years ago?) A sensible solution you might think with a listed building. However the Council didn’t agree; presumably through… Read more »