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Isle of Wight venue gets £1m investment

Fri 25 May 2012

Isle of Wight venue gets £1m investment

One of the Isle of Wight's top tourist attractions is to benefit from £1 million of investments.

Ventnor Botanic Garden is set to be given £200,000 by the Isle of Wight Council, while a Community Interest Company (CIC) run by US businessman John Curtis is to pledge another £800,000 over the course of the next few years.

According to a report by the Isle of Wight County Press, the £200,000 from the local authority is set to be spent on urgent repairs at the popular facility.

The Isle of Wight Council is set to discuss the plans next Tuesday (May 23rd) and is expected to give them the thumbs up.

Ventnor Botanic Garden's Royal Garden Cafe is already operated by the CIC after the local authority indicated it needed to sell the venue off to save money.

The CIC has also promised any profits made at the site are going to be reinvested into the location, which attracts thousands of visitors on Isle of Wight holidays every year.

If the deal gets the green light next week as it is likely to, seven staff would be transferred from the Isle of Wight Council on their existing pay and conditions to the new CIC and they would remain part of the local government pension scheme under the agreement.

Ventnor Botanic Garden was founded on the site of the Royal National Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, which was set up around 150 years ago by physician and naturist Dr Arthur Hill Hassall, but was demolished in the 1960s.

In 1970 it was set up as the Steephill Pleasure Gardens and over the course of the last four decades it has grown into one of the most important and popular tourist destinations on the Isle of Wight, boasting a wide range of rare plants.

Posted by Louise ParkesADNFCR-3083-ID-801365783-ADNFCR

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