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Design Guide plays a key role in the future of Newport and Ryde

Newport and Ryde Commercial Frontages Design Guide is a guide for shopkeepers, building owners, designers, planners, councillors, and anyone else involved in caring for shops and other commercial buildings in Ryde and Newport town centres.

The design guide sets a new standard for commercial properties in our town centres, ensuring the frontage of shops, pubs and other buildings enhances the conservation area. It will help protect and enhance historic features that contribute to the character of our town centres, preserving our heritage for future generations. 

It also looks to the future and gives guidance on adapting buildings to new uses while ensuring they still make a positive contribution to the street scene. The guide is designed to be accessible to everyone while also useful to building design professionals.

Martin Gibson, Newport High Street Heritage Action Zone Project Manager, explained:  

“Regeneration of our High Streets in Newport and Ryde is crucial for their future and our new Design Guide will play a key role in helping to keep them vibrant and relevant. 

“The design guide will help building owners and their advisors to improve shopfronts and other commercial frontages, so they enhance the conservation area and create streets that look great.  

“We want to ensure Newport is an attractive place people want to visit whether for shopping or catching up with friends over a coffee – and the Design Guide will help to make the most of what Newport has to offer.”

There’s been much talk about the future for high streets and how important the look of our town centre streets is to the future success of our towns. 

The Design Guide shows how we can build on the history of our important commercial centres and make them enticing and relevant for future generations to enjoy.

Sally Thompson, Ryde High Street Heritage Action Zone Project Manager, explained what the Design Guide will mean for Ryde.

“The Design Guide is a significant project for Ryde High Street Heritage Action Zone because it is a blueprint for how Ryde town centre can be improved for future generations to enjoy. 

“By making the shop fronts as attractive as possible, we can help to keep our High Street vibrant and attract more independent shops. We want the High Street to be a place that people choose to spend time there, not just pop-in and leave.”

Carole Dennett, Editor of the Isle of Wight Observer has been working closely with the Newport HAZ team as part of their plans to open a new office in 104-105 St James Square, the former William Hill bookmakers.

“We want to restore these heritage buildings back into two individual units, with attractive traditional frontages based on the historic imagery of the shops but taking modern standards into account. It will be a great place to work and for our readers to visit. 

“We’ve been fortunate to be able to work with the Newport High Street Heritage Action Zone to pilot some of the concepts in the guide, with early access to a draft version. It’s helped inspire us and guide the architects working on our unit, making the whole process much easier.

“We hope that the finished units will have a positive impact on St James’ Square and that others will follow our lead and help restore the historic character of this area.”

The guide is easy to access, with topline general information and more technical advice for architects and crafts people to follow. We have an interactive web version or you can download the full guide as a PDF.

Note to Editors

In 2019 both Ryde and Newport were accepted into Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones programme following applications from Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council and Ryde Town Council, both supported by Isle of Wight Council. 

A range of projects commenced in 2020 to help regenerate the two towns’ historic high streets and the Design Guide is the latest step to making our plans a reality. 

About High Streets Heritage Action Zones 

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones is a £95 million government-funded programme led by Historic England, designed to secure lasting improvements and help breathe new life into our historic high streets for the communities and businesses that use them. Historic England is working with local people and partners to unlock the rich heritage on these high streets, through repair and improvement works as well as arts and cultural programmes, making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. 

About Historic England

We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories these places tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.