– Ryde residents invited to have their say on High Street improvements

Plans that could create ‘a playful space’ for all ages to enjoy as part of a major revamp of Ryde High Street are being shared for the first time by the Ryde Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) and they want to know your thoughts.

A new website www.rydehighstreet.uk has just been launched so residents can see all the proposals including the first stage of work to improve gateway sections at either end of the High Street.

Walking tours with the project team behind the proposals have been arranged for the following dates so you can see the ideas at first hand:

  • Walking Tour 01: Thurs 7th July 2pm and 6pm
  • Walking Tour 02: Tues 19th July 2pm and 6pm
  • Walking Tour 03: Wed 13th July 7.30pm (on Zoom)

You can find out more by following this link www.rydehighstreet.uk/6-join-a-walk
*The deadline for comments is Wednesday 27 July at 5pm.

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 Eastham from Feria Urbanism – the urban design practice appointed to explore how the High Street can be improved – says 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.

“Young people often feel excluded from high streets, with them often lacking in places to hang out or things to do. By describing this central section of the Ryde High Street as a place for creativity, film-making and for young people, we invite young people to take a more active and participatory role”

“The design of the space at Town Square and Minghella Square should be a ‘blank canvas’ for film creation.

“We want to encourage people to make little movies while they are enjoying a revamped High Street. We could even develop the idea further and hold a mini film festival of these mobile phone films to honour Anthony Minghella’s legacy.”

Street furniture that would appeal to teenagers to lounge on is being suggested along with comfortable benches for the older generation to enjoy.

While the playful and film-inspired ideas for the central section require further testing with the public before being refined, there is already a first phase set of improvements identified for the gateways at either end of the pedestrianised section of the high street. New surface materials, new street furniture and the introduction of green planting will transform the sense of arrival. These can also be viewed on the consultation website: www.rydehighstreet.uk

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

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