National funding bid hopes to revive Ryde’s historic character

It’s hoped a successful bid will enable enhancement of the whole of the High Street, in particular drawing on aspects of heritage to bring back a sense of history, consider the use of the squares and how those can be improved, as well as looking at connectivity between different areas.

Ryde boat with flowers

Peter shares this latest report from Ryde. Ed


Plans to revive Ryde’s “neglected” historic character were unveiled at a meeting of the town council this week.

A funding bid to improve the high street is being submitted to Historic England’s Heritage Action Zone scheme after a vote by councillors.

It comes at a time when new visitors to the Island declare that it’s not just fish n’ chips and seaside that they are seeking.

Important gateway to the Isle of Wight
TV programmes like ITV’s Victoria, and the film Victoria and Abdul, have created a new interest in the history of the Island.  Queen Victoria, who lived  at Osborne House, was a regular visitor to Ryde.

The town developed throughout the latter half of the 18th century, the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century as a popular seaside resort and important gateway to the Isle of Wight.

Visitors shocked at state of gateway
Today new visitors are often shocked to find its gateway, a railway station at the pier head, consisting of broken and dilapidated wood panels.

The town boasts many Regency and Victorian buildings and a townscape of considerable historic interest with fine buildings such as All Saints Church, designed by the eminent Gilbert Scott. Unfortunately many buildings including the Town Hall, built in 1829, are closed and in a state of decay.                                             

National funding bid to enhance whole of High Street
Zoe Thompson, chair of Ryde Business Association and Chris Ashman, the Island’s Director of Regeneration, presented to Ryde Town Council at Monday’s meeting.              

Thompson: Helping to thread together the various ‘zones’
Ms Thompson said that it’s hoped that a successful bid will enable enhancement of the whole of the High Street, in particular drawing on aspects of heritage to bring back a sense of history, consider the use of the squares and how those can be improved, as well as looking at connectivity between different areas. 

“There will also be consideration as to how heritage for the whole town can be enhanced, helping to thread together the various ‘zones’ of Ryde, and really making Ryde a place where the history and heritage is celebrated.”

The Expression of Interest for the Historic England grant requires match funding and evidence of partnership working across a maximum of four years, Ryde Town Council voted in favour of supporting the bid, and being the lead organisation if successful to the next stage.

Against the motion
Not every councillor supported the decision, however. Cllr Julian Critchley abstained from the vote.

“All of us want to see more money invested in Ryde. That’s not in doubt.

“We were being asked to agree a notional £100,000 with almost no details of what we might be getting for the citizens of Ryde, and no clarity about how that sum was decided upon, or where the project would be focussed.”

Image: simonhaytack under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 4th July, 2019 9:27am

By

ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2n2z

Filed under: Business, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Retail, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Top story, Tourism

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

3 Comments on "National funding bid hopes to revive Ryde’s historic character"

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Email updates?
juliancritchley
This article is rather misleading. I abstained for two reasons: 1) There was not even a broad idea of why we would spend £100k (as opposed to any other sum), or what it would get us. It was a sum plucked out of thin air with no supporting information. 2) There was also no information about why the upper High Street was chosen. Indeed, the documents before… Read more »
Colin
£100,000? That will fund the consultants fee, then… You could throw a million pounds at Ryde and it would look no different. On a serious note, Ryde has suffered with neglect much the same as any other place on the Island. Empty shops at the higher end of the town don’t help much either. The shopping are needs to be reduced rather than expanded as per IWC… Read more »
juliancritchley
I agree with much of this. We need to focus on what brings people into Ryde and gets them spending their money. I think that we should prioritise the seafront (obviously), and Union Street up to St Thomas’s Square/Cross Street. If the problems of the Upper HIgh Street are more to do with internet shopping, commercial rents and a lack of disposable income/visitors, then it’s possible that… Read more »