John Curtis, the businessman who heads up the CIC which has a 125 year lease on the Ventnor Botanic Garden revealed at last night’s Ventnor Town Council meeting that he is considering moving the children’s playground out of the Garden.
Drop in visitor numbers this year
Mr Curtis explained that since taking the Garden over earlier in the year, they have seen a drop in visitor numbers.
He said that they “hadn’t got the playground sorted yet”, and was considering ‘donating’ it to Ventnor so it could be rehoused somewhere “to get better use”.
Entry costs a barrier
Many parents, who for years have used the Garden as a park, now see the entry costs as too large a barrier.
Children under six are not charged, but parents must pay £5 each to enter the Garden.
Update: John Curtis has commented below that they have a “Playground Only tariff of £2 as well as Community Mondays and Fridays”.
Playground users not ‘spenders’
During a walk around the Garden earlier in the year, when John Curtis was outlining his proposed future for the Garden to On The Wight, in passing he mentioned he believed residents who have been used to taking their children to the playground in the past are not the sort of people who would then spend money in the cafe.
With the fairly new Seabreeze play park on the Eastern Cliffs, it’s unclear where the playground apparatus from the Botanic Garden could go.
Image: © Used with the kind permission of OblivionHead