Ryde Theatre: Is £300,000 the right price?

The latest preferred bidder for the iconic venue in Ryde may get it for £100,000 than the last preferred bidder.

Ryde Theatre from the street

A delegated decision report has been released from the Isle of Wight council this afternoon, recommending that the sale of Ryde Theatre is approved for the princely sum of £300,000.

This is £100,000 less than the deal that fell through back in November 2012 between the IWC and The Thompsons.

Continuing to run the theatre indefinitely
The purchaser has confirmed that, “we will be continuing to run the theatre indefinitely and it will be available to be used and booked for other events.”

It also confirmed in the report that “the public toilets could remain open provided that there were managed by the Council”.

Read the report
Many will question whether this council asset should be disposed of for such a small sum.

Full details are in the report below.

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2013 3:17pm


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

Filed under: Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Top story

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15 Comments on "Ryde Theatre: Is £300,000 the right price?"

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I think it’s important that it’s sold and restored. Whoever buys it has alot on their hands. £300,000 i think is reasonable, considering the current state of the building.

Mick Lyons
Compare this to the council’s attitude to Newport’s Town Hall – £3.5 million for refurbishment and conversion to a heritage centre. Meanwhile Ryde Town Hall is sold off for next to nothing. If it’s anything like Vectis Hall in Melville Street it will be derelict in a few years time and the council will claim that, because it’s in private hands, they can do nothing to preserve… Read more »
binnel ghost

Really do hope the new buyer makes a go of restoring this lovely building and keeping its use as a theatre is of paramount importance to the Island. We have lost too many venues and it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain slots at the only surviving theatres.

is it essential…its a nice building, but an albatross to whoever builds it. Theatre Trust see no merit in it and previously showed no interest in listing it or assisyng funding. Its will cost millions to bring up to a standard for public shows and more to ensure. It didn’t pay for itself when it was open. Its just another case of a venue (like the Winter… Read more »
Geoff M

If the Ryde Theatre can be saved and used regularly and profitably that will be very good.

Ventnor Winter Gardens was most succesful up until its sad closure and had a good future until it became a political football and after being neglected for many years.

It was sold for £200,999.00 less than Ryde Theatre!


I loved the style & intimacy, the friendliness of Ryde Theatre. I won’t forget going to see Glenn Tilbrook there, but wondering who the hell some guy thought he was, making his way upstairs before the show began, playing guitar & singing unplugged. It was Glenn of course, bursting with zest, a pied piper to us all crowding around him, a fantastic time had by all….

If – and it’s a big if, the new owner has the resources to maintain the building properly and put on regular entertainment, then it’s probably a good deal for the taxpayer. Having been badly neglected by this and previous council’s, the building is more liability than asset. However, if the buyer is planning on running it for a while, before declaring it ‘not viable as a… Read more »
martin william wareham

Delegated George Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe here we go again .

For a building of that size and position, £300,000 is a giveaway, even allowing for the state that the council has allowed it to get into.. Whilst agreeing that I would prefer it to remain as a theatre, I can’t honestly see it being viable. For an Island population of 150,000 a large percentage is going to have to attend and not just those from Ryde. Given… Read more »
Mr Einsteins Ghost

Sadly, I have to agree. it would need someone with very deep pockets, passion and vision to make this anything more than just an occasional home for the odd touring act and amateur groups. The potential IOW audience just isn’t there.

It would be criminal to destroy an iconic Nash building such as this and its future as a theatre has been damaged not only by the economy but by Wightlink’s short sighted decision to cut FastCat evening sailings making it difficult for our mainland visitors from enjoying its offerings and thus damaging the island’s tourist trade. If it can’t be a theatre why not turn it into… Read more »

People need a roof over their head more than they need theatre.

Perhaps they should move other services there: The Library, tourist information, cinema, cafe, and have a couple of flats too. Make it a mixed use development.


On second thoughts rehouse the library and TIC there, thrown in some whizzy public toilets and sell the existing library building which should earn the council a lot more than £300k. Everyone wins…!

Phil Bailey

I think we should have an elected committee to oversee any sales of council owned properties.
Correction……Publicly owned assets .

It seems to me this very important responsibility cannot be entrusted to politically motivated here today gone tomorrow elected representatives.

Ryde town hall (theatre) is an example of total mismanagement of the sale .

Please any feedback would be appreciated.

Phil Bailey.

Mr Bailey – I agree with your suggestion about the need for an elected committee to oversee these assets but suspect that IOW Council lacks the financial resources to instigate such a sensible move. Clearly, these buildings are assets because they have the potential to enhance (or detract from) the local economy, as well as having important architectural merit. I also agree with the person who posted… Read more »