Five years ago on this date, the IW Council held a meeting in Bembridge Village Hall to discuss the future of Ryde and Shanklin Theatres.
Fast forward five years and despite Ryde Theatre having been empty for many years with the previous Platform One sale falling through, the future is looking bright for the iconic music venue.
Two “excellent proposals”
The theatre went up for sale again back in May and the council confirm that two interested parties are bidding, with a view to keeping Ryde Theatre as a live music/entertainment venue.
George Brown, Isle of Wight Council cabinet member responsible for the economy said: “Following a marketing exercise, two excellent proposals have come forward. We are currently evaluating these and we are confident they will be welcomed by the public when we are able to give more details shortly when a delegated decision report is published.
“Both proposals, as we understand them, keep the building in use as a theatre/live music venue for the foreseeable future, this is despite there being no conditions imposed on the use of the building as part of the marketing exercise. In addition the adjoining public toilet block in Lind Street will remain open, public access to the organ will remain and the council will retain responsibility for the war memorial.”
Choice will be based on ‘best value’
He went on to say, “We continue to evaluate both bids to make sure that the one we accept is that which offers best value for the Island both in terms of a capital receipt and with appropriate assurances about the future use of the building as theatre/live music venue.
“With the building coming off the at risk register and with firm and exciting proposals to take it forward, I am confident that the theatre has a bright future.”