Options for the future ownership and management of Ryde and Ventnor Harbours will be considered by the Cabinet of the Isle of Wight Council next week (11th March).
The Cabinet will look at alternatives for the two harbours – including the possible sale of Ryde Harbour to Ryde Town Council.
Should be nil cost to the IWC
The future of the harbours was previously discussed in published delegated papers in 2018 and 2019, with a key objective that they should be operated at nil net cost to the Isle of Wight Council. A marketing exercise for their future was also proposed.
An approach was received from Ryde Town Council in 2019 about taking on the ownership of Ryde Harbour, followed by a full business case.
In the past year discussions have continued with Ryde Town Council about its proposals to purchase the freehold, as well as the leasehold of some adjoining land.
Ryde Harbour was built in 1991 by the former Medina Borough Council, and significant future costs are envisaged for dredging works and harbour wall replacement. The 150 berth harbour can handle up to 70 visiting vessels, and operates at a net surplus in a typical year of around £2,300.
Ventnor Harbour was built in 2003 and part of the facility is used by a local fish processing company. There are a very small number of visitor moorings within the harbour.
Its annual costs include a substantial amount (£87,000) to remove and dispose of seaweed. It has operated at a net cost in a typical year of £58,000.
Expressions of interest
The report to the council’s Cabinet says if Ryde Harbour is to be sold to Ryde Town Council, then the future operation of Ventnor Harbour could be subject to a separate marketing exercise.
There have been a number of expressions of interest from private sector marine operators about Ventnor Harbour, as well as initial interest from Ventnor Town Council.
The full report and options for both harbours can be found via the council’s Website.
4.10pm 4th Mar 2021 – Date of Ventnor Harbour being built corrected from 1994 to 2003
News shared by Isle of Wight council press office, in their own words. Ed
Image: © With kind permission of Chi Bellami