Ryde Esplanade has been identified by IW Council as one of five potential Island sites for regeneration. It could provide an area for recreation, leisure and commerce, as well as meeting the identified priorities of local people. Improving the seafront area would enhance the wider town and generate more business rate income for the council; an ambition of the regeneration programme as a whole.
Chris Ashman, director of regeneration at the Isle of Wight Council, said: “Some people have suggested that we intend to sell off public spaces, or that we have already decided on a plan for Ryde. That is certainly not true. When we’re thinking about future options for regeneration of the town, it’s important to gather thoughts and suggestions from people and businesses in the area throughout the process. My team is carrying out a lot of background work, reviewing previous consultations and proposals and testing out many different possibilities. We are looking at what may be financially viable, but also how the hopes and ambitions of the community might also be achieved.”
The council’s Regeneration Team is consulting around three priorities identified by local people – bringing large empty buildings across the town back into use; ‘greening’ Ryde; and considering youth provision.