RYDE residents have expressed fears over the future of the Royal Victoria arcade, which has been put up for sale for £750,000.

The historic Grade II* listed building was built between 1835 and 1836, and has been put up for sale by Scotcher and Co.

After being left derelict in the early 1970s, it now houses 14 shops, including antiques and collectibles, a cafe and the Underground History Museum of Ryde. 

Now, the current owner of the arcade — who has cared for it for the last 45 years — is retiring. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

The iconic building has been up for sale for £750,000.

However, the mayor of Ryde, Michael Lilley has called for the building to become a community asset under the Localism Act, giving time to explore a people's buy-out.

Cllr Lilley said: “I would personally love to see a community bid for the Arcade as it is a very important part of our heritage. However, this will have to be discussed by Ryde Town Council.

“Ryde residents like myself want to know that whoever owns the Arcade it is in safe hands as it is an iconic part of our Georgian/Victorian Heritage.”

The arcade’s current owner, Roy Cartwright said: "I would be happy to see the Arcade in Ryde Town Council hands.  I've loved the place for the last 45 years since my father saved it in 1973, and echo others' thoughts about its importance to the heritage of Ryde.I wouldn't wish it to end up in the hands of a speculator who allows it to deteriorate."