Peter shares this report from yesterday’s Ryde Regeneration drop-in session. Ed
More than 250 people packed a drop-in meeting on Wednesday to discuss plans to regenerate Ryde.
Ideas included refurbishing semi derelict areas of the pier – the first thing visitors see when they arrive by ferry- and turning the empty former theatre and town hall, which has been allowed to fall into disrepair, into a cultural, community and business centre.
Stella Davis, chair of the Ryde Society, which has campaigned against previous plans to build moneymaking flats and shops along the seafront, said she was impressed by the meeting.
Ms Davis said,
“It was a great evening with a really positive vibe.
“The regeneration team can now restart the process of presenting the residents of Ryde with a programme that could meet the aspirations of the people who live here. We need to protect our heritage and the place where we live – not easy in today’s world of budget cuts and hard up councils.”
A town to be proud of
Ms Davis added that Ryde had so much to be proud of.
“We have one of the finest beaches on the south coast, a town with over 400 listed buildings, a Georgian centre and the oldest leisure pier in the world.
“Years of neglect and lack of investment have meant that Ryde looks tired and uncared for but we hope that the Isle of Wight county council will now realise that we do care.”
The event was the latest in a series organised by the Isle of Wight Council to get feedback on the draft Regeneration Strategy launched in July after a year of consultation with Island residents and businesses. A series of similar events are planned across the Island throughout September.
The Regeneration Strategy for the Isle of Wight runs until 2030, and aims to set out how the council and partners will ensure the economic future of the Island.
Participants had the chance to discuss the strategy with council staff working on parking, housing infrastructure and other key themes.
The next Ryde Society meeting takes place on 15th October at the Royal Esplanade Hotel, 7pm.
All are welcome.
Image: Chair of Ryde Society, Stella Davis, at meeting with her poster which reads: “Say no to blocks of flats and shops on Ryde seafront”