MP Bob Seely has welcomed a decision that will see a £20 million investment into Ryde via a long-term ten-year endowment-style fund.
Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, announced on Saturday (30 September) that Ryde had been selected be one of 55 towns to benefit from the government’s Long-Term Plan for Towns.
The money is intended to be spent on local people’s priorities, like regenerating local high streets and town centres, improving transport and securing public safety, and is the latest step in the government’s plan to deliver on its levelling up agenda, spreading opportunities and prosperity across the country.
The government says the long-term commitment will allow towns to plan for their future - rather than the end of the financial year - and will give local people the opportunity to have their say on where the money will be invested through new ‘Town Boards’.
Town Boards will bring together community leaders, employers, local authorities, and the local MP, to deliver the Long-Term Plan for their town and put it to local people for consultation.
Ryde will also benefit from access to a new toolkit of regeneration powers to unlock more private sector investment by auctioning empty high street shops, reforming licensing rules on shops and restaurants, and supporting more housing in town centres.
In addition to this, the government is launching a Towns Taskforce to support towns in England, helping the newly formed Town Boards to develop their plans, and advise them on how best to take advantage of government policies, unlock private investment and engage their communities.
Bob Seely MP said: “I am delighted that Ryde has been selected as one of the first 55 towns to benefit from the government’s new Long-Term Plan for Towns.
"This is an important part of this Conservative Government’s plans to share opportunity and prosperity around the country.
"The plan will see Ryde town, supported by myself and others, develop a long-term plan to benefit residents; enhancing the town centre, driving positive change, repurposing shops and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Clearly, I want more towns on the Island to benefit in due course, so I will be lobbying for funds for Newport, Cowes and the Bay area.
"We have already used some regeneration money in East Cowes to fund a heavy lift crane and rebuild of some shipbuilding facilities - creating jobs and opportunities.
"There are a number of options for Ryde, and I’ll be working with the community to make sure that we use the money wisely and for the best benefit of the people of Ryde and the wider Island community - all part of getting a better deal for the Island."