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.”
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