The Isle of Wight Council says nearly six million pounds in Levelling Up cash from the government is surprising and "very welcome".

Isle of Wight Council leader Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox has been reacting to the news that the Island is to get £5.8 million to support what the local authority calls its 'ambitious regeneration package.'

The money comes from a fund set up by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Cllr Peacey-Wilcox said: "East Cowes has long been a centre for the marine industry, so famously connected with the heritage of the Island, and this investment will help secure much needed skilled employment as well as providing a kick-start to the next stage of the wider regeneration of the town."

Venture Quays and Albany Barracks today (Thursday).

The cash will be used for a new marine hub for the Island, protecting and growing marine jobs and the renovation of the historic Victorian barracks building, previously used to film tv drama The Beast Must Die.

It will expand the marine skills training and education provided by the Cowes-based UKSA, and there will also be improvements to East Cowes's Albany Green and Esplanade.

Isle of Wight County Press: The UKSA is based in Cowes.The UKSA is based in Cowes.

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Isle of Wight County Press: The Albany barracks building and Albany Square, during filming in 2020.The Albany barracks building and Albany Square, during filming in 2020.

Councillor Julie Jones-Evans, Isle of Wight Council's cabinet member for regeneration and business development said: “This funding success demonstrates the value of all stakeholders working together to secure what’s best for the Island, the efforts of our MP in making a case to government, the town council for backing the bid and the businesses whose innovation in supporting the bid will deliver much needed opportunities for Island youngsters.

"This package will futureproof the resilience and growth of a high-value, innovation-intensive marine engineering hub, creating jobs and boosting productivity."

Karl Love, councillor for East Cowes, said: "Our community ambitions and ideas for East Cowes have been at the centre of developing this successful funding package.

"As ward councillor and a local town councillor, I’m particularly pleased that this success demonstrates what can be achieved when we all work together. East Cowes Town council gave its full support to this bid.

"I look forward to working with the Town Council, IWC regeneration team and local people to make the most of this excellent opportunity for the people of East Cowes and the Island as a whole."

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Cllr Michael Paler, Mayor for East Cowes Town Council said: "East Cowes is really pleased to have worked with the Isle of Wight Council on the development of this bid and the community is very excited to see the improvements it will bring."

Announcing the news yesterday (Wednesday), Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely said: "From a poor future...we’ve got a positive one, creating jobs and prosperity"