– Press Release on Vectis Hall, Melville Street, Ryde.


At Ryde Town Council’s Full Council meeting held on Monday 2nd November 2020, the council agreed to purchase Vectis Hall, Melville Street with the aim of bringing the building back into use for the community.
The building was due to go to auction on the 4th November, however following pre auction negotiations with the owners it was agreed that the building be withdrawn from the auction and sold to the Town Council for the sum of £125000.
The Town Council has received letters of support for the purchase and promises of both practical and financial help from the local community to bring this ambitious project forward. A ‘Friends of Vectis Hall’ group is to be formed and the Council welcome anyone who wishes to help with the restoration of this historic building to register with the Council.
Vectis Hall was originally the first ‘Free School’ in Ryde being built in 1812 and is now registered as a Grade II listed building. The building has been neglected for many years and has fallen into a state of disrepair.
The Town Council plan to work with the IW Council’s Conservation Officer and other organisations such as Historic England to safeguard the building from further damage and to obtain grant funding to restore the building. Due to the poor state of the building, and its listed status, this will be a long term project for the Town Council with works hoped to commence within the next 3 to 5 years. There are initial plans to tidy up the site and stop any further damage from water ingress and vandalism.
Mayor of Ryde Michael Lilley said
“Ryde Town Council has seen many of Ryde’s historic buildings decline under absent private owners over many years and now has a proactive approach to purchase them. If we did not act now on Vectis Hall then it would be too late. The Hall was given to the people of Ryde by Princess Diana’s great, great, grandmother as Ryde’s first free school. For many years it was a much loved community dance hall. I remember dance hall scenes from the film ‘That’ll be the Day’ being filmed there as a teenager. We hope to develop a young people’s employment project around its renovation. It is great to reclaim it for Ryde residents.”

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