Ryde High Street Heritage Action Zone

Streets & Spaces

The Ryde High Street HAZ is a four year programme, funded by Historic England, Ryde Town Council, and Isle of Wight Council. Its aims are to regenerate Ryde High Street to create a vibrant town centre destination for residents and visitors to spend time in and enjoy. There will be an annual programme of cultural activities and events, with new street furniture, street art and planting. The aim of the HAZ is to reinvigorate pride in Ryde.

We were appointed by the Ryde High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) team to support them in delivering change to the pedestrianised section of Ryde High Street. We organised and ran a public engagement process to help inform how the public realm in the centre of Ryde could be improved and enhanced.

Following a research phase that included various on-site and online engagement work, the project focused upon the pedestrianised section of the High Street, Co-Op Square and Minghella Square.

Design concepts around playful and interactive public realm designs were prepared for the central section of the street, including the two squares. The rationale behind these concepts was based upon young people’s experience of urban centres and were designed to draw footfall into the heart of Ryde in a declining retail environment.

Within these designs, opportunities for a celebration of filmmaking were explored, a recognition of Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella’s connection to Ryde. Alongside these concepts, proposals to improve the gateways at either end of the pedestrianised zone were prepared. All ideas were published on a dedicated website and tested during a five week public consultation phase.

Comments were received through a survey on the dedicated website; through participation in four separate on-site walking tours; and through an evening Zoom consultation. Our final report draws together the research and testing phases and makes recommendations for change.

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