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A time for reflection and looking ahead

Sally Thompson is the Project Manager for the Ryde HAZ.

“January is a good time to look back at what has happened during the previous year and look forward to what’s going to be happening in 2022.

“Looking back over the events of last year, a great deal has been achieved and wheels are in motion for some really exciting plans for Ryde’s High Street.

“I want to reiterate our thanks to our funding partners, Historic England, Ryde Town Council and Isle of Wight Council. 

“And remind everyone that we welcome the engagement we have received from community partners. We are already working with a range of community groups and representatives including Aspire, Ryde: Network Ryde; Ryde Carnival Company; Ryde Arts; Shademakers; Monkton Arts; Ryde Society; Ryde Business Association; Greening Ryde; Ryde Social Heritage Group; Ryde Heritage Society; Ryde Academy; Ryde School; Isle Access; The Earth Museum; Ryde Library; Arc and FilmWight.

“Here is a brief run through of what we delivered in 2021 with links to where more detail can be found.

  • Business Case researched, delivered and published regarding options for the future of Ryde Town Hall (see downloads section re Ryde HAZ )
  • Grant awarded to the Diocese of Portsmouth for a feasibility study and options appraisal for St. Mary’s Church Buildings and Estate, Ryde High Street
  • Ryde HAZ Cultural Consortium established. They are delivering a programme of cultural events for the benefit of the community over three years  
  • Grant awarded to Ryde Town Council for urgent works at St. Thomas Church, which will become the base for Network Ryde Youth Organisation – work in progress – plans being explored with Network Ryde 
  • Grant awarded to Shademakers CIC to support the refurbishment of the former Packs Store in Ryde as a new creative industries hub that will be open for public use   
  • Parameter plan and concept design in progress for the regeneration of the public realm and infrastructure in Ryde pedestrian zone, to include landscaping and new street furniture  
  • Public Realm Engagement project commissioned to support concept design work in Ryde HAZ 
  • Feasibility and options for installation of  bollard/s at the entrance and exit of Ryde Pedestrian zone 
  • Feasibility and options for alternative access for deliveries at Grace’s Bakery
  • Community engagement events and workshops to support all HAZ projects, including Heritage Trail event and workshop, October 2021
  • Survey for retailers in Ryde High Street pedestrian zone regarding delivery patterns to support work in progress with Hampshire County Council
  • Design Guide project with Newport HAZ – launch of consultation on 25.11.21 at ‘Department’, Ryde 
  • Shop Front Improvement Grant scheme launched on 25.11.21, for property owners in Ryde HAZ that meet criteria for grant consideration – see
  • Ryde Building Improvement Grants – Heritage Action Zone (
  • Property Research Project regarding property ownership in Ryde Heritage Action Zone
  • website established, including project news, surveys, blogs, events and downloads, with links to social media communications
  • Community working group established to provide insights and feedback on HAZ projects.  ‘Walkabout’ took place on 02.09.21 for example within the Pedestrian Area re public realm considerations and preferences.

“Joint working with Newport HAZ:

“Looking ahead to what we plan to deliver in 2022, here is a brief overview of the work we will be undertaking.

  • EMRC have been commissioned to produce advice and design for property owners seeking to improve their shop-fronts in Ryde Heritage Action Zone, which will act as a catalyst to increase the number of property refurbishments in the town centre, in line with standards laid out in the Design Guide recommendations. This, in turn, will help to attract further investment, businesses and employment for the town.  Interested owners can register their interest at Ryde Building Improvement Grants – Heritage Action Zone (
  • Completion of Parameter Plan and Concept Design (by HCC), with further community engagement feedback and input facilitated by Feria Urbanism
  • Commissioning and planning the installation of new features for Town Square, Minghella Square and St. Thomas Square to create a ‘heart of the town’ experience for residents and visitors to encourage increased dwell time in the town as a place people want to be in
  • Exploring how current street furniture can be recycled or repurposed, along with removal of unnecessary and unsightly street clutter in the High Street
  • Continued work in progress at key heritage buildings in Ryde HAZ, including Department, St. Thomas Church and St. Mary’s Church Estate
  • Further support for planting and landscaping at St. Thomas’ Rest Gardens
  • Programme of events delivered by Ryde HAZ Cultural Consortium 
  • Further community-led projects to brighten up the town centre, led by Ryde Town Council, supported by Ryde HAZ

“You can keep up to speed with the work we are doing by following our social media platforms and subscribe to our e-newsletter via our website