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Ryde Theatre 'needs to be dealt with properly'

Wed 28 Nov 2012

Ryde Theatre 'needs to be dealt with properly'

John Giddings, the promoter behind the popular Isle of Wight Festival, has weighed in on the debate over the future of the Ryde Theatre by describing the venue as a "beautiful, brilliant" place that needs to be properly dealt with and restored to its former glory.

He told Isle of Wight Radio that the site has a great deal of potential but suggested that the current asking price is far too high given that it would cost a great deal to resurrect and improve it.

This follows the news that a £400,000 bid for the theatre from four doctors, all of whom work for the Isle of Wight Educational Psychology Service, fell through after they withdraw their offer.

Drs Warren, Rebecca, Steph and Steve Thompson had hoped to breathe new life into the iconic building but have now decided there should be further public consultation about how it should be used in the future.

The family of doctors had previously planned to continue operating the site as a theatre, reports the Isle of Wight County Press.

Dr Rebecca Thompson said: "We would be delighted to see the theatre taken on and managed by the community, but if that doesn't work we will remain interested in involvement in the building's future."

This statement follows expressions of disappointment from the public and the local council that they had not been given any say in how the imposing building will be used in the future before the bid from the Thompson family.

The Grade II listed theatre is known for its impressive architecture but has been unused for several years after plans from Platform One to run the building as a venue and music college also fell through.

Ryde - known as the gateway to the island because it is so busy to reach from the mainland - has attracted tourists for over 150 years.ADNFCR-3083-ID-801496823-ADNFCR

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