AN EXHIBITION celebrating Appley Tower is opening at a new arts venue in Ryde.

The exhibition, featuring photographs, paintings and drawings of the tower by local artists, will open on Monday and run until September 7.

Appley Tower, built in 1875 by William Hutt, is one of the most photographed and painted buildings on the Isle of Wight.

It is hoped the exhibition will raise interest in the future of the tower, which is owned by the Isle of Wight Council.

It has been empty for nearly three years, and there has been speculation it could be sold as a luxury beach hut.

In 2017, Ryde East Councillor Michael Lilley started a campaign for the tower to remain in community ownership, and approached the Isle of Wight Council and Ryde Town Council for support.

Cllr Lilley has opened the tower for guided tours on Appley Day — this year, 678 people took a look inside as part of a new feasibility study.

Island charity Natural Enterprise has successfully submitted a funding application for a feasibility study to the UK Government Coastal Communities fund.

The study is nearing completion and will set out a plan for the long-term sustainable future of the tower.

Cllr Lilley, who will open the exhibition at Monkton Arts, East Street, said: “I am so pleased the new Monkton Arts venue has decided to put on this exhibition as Appley Tower is such a big part of Ryde’s and the Isle of Wight’s heritage.

"It is the symbol of one of the best beaches and parks on the Island and I am so honoured it is based in my ward.”

The exhibition will be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

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