THE Isle of Wight Council has completed the purchase of Venture Quays at East Cowes — securing the future of one of the Island's most iconic buildings.

The £1.3 million acquisition follows many months of negotiations with Homes England and a Cabinet commitment to purchase the land which includes the historic Columbine site, famous for its huge Union flag doors.

Cllr Wayne Whittle said: "This fulfils our commitment to acquire this important asset and will enable us to take forward our plans that support both East Cowes and the wider Island community.

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"At a time when we know the Island economy is under pressure, affecting homes and jobs, I am pleased we can now announce this good news.

"It also allows us to progress development of housing for the community in the area and more information on this will follow on this shortly.”

Isle of Wight County Press: The Venture Quays site has now been purchased by the IW CouncilThe Venture Quays site has now been purchased by the IW Council

Investing in the prime waterfront site — with its crucial deep water access — will preserve key employment land for the benefit of the Island's workforce for many years to come.

Council leader Dave Stewart said: "The purchase of the Venture Quays sites was a flagship investment opportunity highlighted by Boris Johnson when he visited the Island in 2019.

"Despite the clear economic challenges presented by the pandemic, acquiring these sites will protect Island jobs and preserve marine engineering in this location, as well as provide land for housing on a brownfield site.

"This ambitious project is an excellent example of how the council is helping our economy to recover from the ravages of coronavirus and supporting local business."