*Press Release from Ryde HAZ*
Our first walking tours proved really popular with local people keen to find out more about the exciting plans for Ryde High Street.
A group of interested individuals joined the project team to explore the concepts in the actual streets and spaces where change is proposed.
The first phase of improvements identified for the gateways at either end of the pedestrianised section of the high street, could see new surface materials, new street furniture and the introduction of green planting to help to transform the sense of arrival.
Richard Eastham from Feria Urbanism – the urban design practice appointed to explore how the High Street can be improved – joined the walkers and was pleased with the input from local residents.
“There was broad support for the ideas, especially the introduction of new surface materials at the north and south entrances to the pedestrianised zone. The introduction of more seating – more welcoming and comfortable than the current metal benches – was also supported.
“The group also considered the suggested changes to the two civic squares – Minghella Square and Town Square – and discussed the merits of introducing new street furniture and new designs that will encourage performance and activity in these two areas. All comments
were noted down by the project team and will be used to refine and update the concepts, as appropriate,” he said.
The next walking tour will be digital and will be held on Zoom, on Wednesday 13th July at 7.30pm. The next in-person walking tours will take place on Tuesday 19th July at 2pm and 6pm.
Please go to https://www.rydehighstreet.uk/ where you can sign-up for a tour of your choice. You can also view the draft design ideas and submit your comments through the feedback form. Closing date for comments is 5pm on Wednesday 27th July.
A key part of the future plans will be to make much more of the section of the High Street that links Minghella Square and Town Square where the Coop is based, encouraging the space to be used for live events and gatherings.
And there is a desire to make more of the town’s links with the late Academy award winning director Anthony Minghella CBE.
Richard explained that creating a playful space where young people are encouraged to film Tik-Tok videos is just one of the ideas.
“We are looking at a multi-generational approach to this section of the High Street and as part of that we’d love to see more being made of Anthony Minghella’s links – and bring that right up to date with the Tik-Tok generation,” he added.
Martin Gibson, Project Manager for Ryde and Newport Heritage Action Zones, explained: “The team at Feria Urbanism have been engaging with the public and running focus groups to be able to come up with these proposals.
“And now we want to hear from people who live and work in Ryde to see what they think of these ideas to rejuvenate the High Street.
“These are still concepts, and we want to know what people think. Our High Streets are changing, and we need to look at ways to keep them vibrant.
“We have the opportunity to make more of the space that we currently have and make it a place for all generations to enjoy,” he said