Sale of Ryde Theatre falls through (updated)

Surprise new was announced at last night’s full council meeting.

Those following our Twitter and Facebook feeds during last night’s full council meeting will have already heard that the sale of Ryde Theatre has fallen through.

Cllr George Brown revealed the news whilst presenting his monthly cabinet report to the meeting.

The delegated decision to accept the offer of £400,000 for the sale of Ryde Theatre was announced back on 2nd October 2012.

At last night’s meeting, Cllr Dave Knowles asked the cabinet member whether Wightlink’s decision to scrap late night catamaran services had any bearing on the purchaser’s decision. Cllr Brown suggested that Cllr Knowles “would be in a better position to know what the real connection between those two things is.”

Unanswered questions
On The Wight posed two questions to the council yesterday in relation to the collapse of the sale which they failed to answer, instead we received the following statement.

Cllr George Brown, IW Council cabinet member for the economy, said: “We have negotiated in good faith with the Thompsons to finalise the agreement for sale and are disappointed that none of the reasons provided for their withdrawal have ever been raised as being of concern at any time during these negotiations

“The decision to sell to the Thompsons was in my view widely accepted the by the community. Indeed I think the great majority of people were excited at the prospect of seeing this building brought back into use as an entertainment venue.

“Only Ryde Town Council formally objected to the sale but without making any constructive proposals for how the theatre could be secured in the future. It would be a great shame if the approach by the Town Council had influenced the decision of the Thompsons and effectively lost Ryde and the Island this opportunity to bring new life to the building.

“The council will now enter into negotiations with the other bidders for the theatre to see if it can reach agreement with them as soon as possible.”

Decision followed “careful consideration of public opinion”
Update 10.09am: The County Press report that ‘the Thompsons’ are Drs Warren, Rebecca, Stephanie and Steve Thompson of IW Education Psychology Unit. They tell the CP that their decision to pull out of deal “followed careful consideration of public opinion that the theatre should remain in public ownership, or that residents should have further consultation on its future”.

Image: BOB@ Wootton

Thursday, 22nd November, 2012 8:11am



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

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2 Comments on "Sale of Ryde Theatre falls through (updated)"

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Not so much a sale as a give away. £400,000? I know it needs a bit of work due to council neglect for years, but even so. Prime position in Ryde, lovely old building?

Brian H
Well, another shambles from IWC, as Cllr Brown blames Ryde Town Council for objecting to the sale. I would suggest that it’s his delegated decision that is to blame for their objection. To quote from his report [my bold]: “There was NO REQUIREMENT for any bidder to use the building as a theatre / events venue;” “Party A: [the rejected bidder] Theatre: WOULD INTEND to operate the… Read more »