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Lisa Dyer, Ryde Town Council Clerk

Exciting times ahead for Ryde

“The exciting part about the Ryde HAZ project is that it has attracted a lot more funding to the area”.

“As well as the Historic England funding to reinvigorate the high street, we have been awarded approximately £95,000 for arts projects in the town”.

“In broad terms we are looking at how we can smarten up some of the shop fronts, we have aspirations to improve the lighting to create a better atmosphere and make the High Street somewhere you want to linger”.

“At the moment access for people with disabilities is not great and this is something we will be looking at improving”.

“Personally, I would love to see improved cycle storage and adding electric bike charging points so people can leave their cars at home”.

“We want the squares to be better used and to become vibrant places. We will be adding a bit of greenery to soften the aspect – in Co-op Square we will add some planting and the hope is it will become a place where people come to sit and relax. I would like to see the squares used for markets, street entertainments and have something for young children such as play equipment or interactive art installations”.

“Of course, we are keen to have as much community engagement as possible so we can be certain that people like the plans. It is also a chance for us to manage expectations when it comes to what is affordable and practical for us to deliver”.

“When it comes to key buildings like the theatre, we would love it to come back into community use, however, we would need to make sure that there is a viable future for the building. We have commissioned Hampshire County Council to do a business case on the theatre looking at how the building could be used to make a theatre viable. We will have to wait and see what they come up with, but I think we are some years off”.

“It is a big project that will cost millions of pounds, and take several years to complete – to put it into perspective, quotes to insure the building have come in at £40,000 per annum, with a policy excess of £25,000”.

“I remember the wonderful Northern Soul nights and seeing live bands performing at the theatre these nights were really popular, I know people are keen to see it open again”.

“As we come out of the lockdown and look to the future, it is positive that Ryde has the High Street plans in development. I hope it will encourage businesses already based there to keep the faith and hang on in there, knowing that improvements will be happening soon”.

“We hope the plans will encourage businesses to stay put and also attract new businesses that need high street premises”.
“The improvements will make the town look great and offer a fantastic space for any businesses looking to relocate.”