OWNERSHIP of Ryde Harbour could be transferred to Ryde Town Council, if a deal is agreed next week.

A decision on the future of the harbour looks set to be taken by the Isle of Wight Council if cabinet approves it on Thursday (December 16).

The town council first expressed an interest in the harbour in 2019 and councillors are poised to agree a deal which could pave the way for substantial investment and new opportunities for the 150-berth facility.

The harbour comes with two parcels of land and a hospitality suite which would also come under the control of the town council as part of the agreement.

Welcoming the report, Cllr Phil Jordan, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said the move signalled a new beginning for an important town asset.

He said: "I am very pleased to hear that the work to transfer the harbour to Ryde Town Council has progressed and we are finally getting close to completing the transfer of ownership of the harbour, which is planned for March 2022.

"It is a great testament to partnership working with town and parish councils."

He said he was appreciative of the extensive upgrade and detailed business case Ryde Town Council had planned for the harbour and it would be a great asset for residents and visitors to Ryde.

The town council has already laid out its five year plan to invest in the harbour to improve services for both berth holders and visitors alike.

It includes new pontoons, upgraded shower and toilet facilities as well as a new marina webcam and a visitor booking system.

Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Transferring Ryde Harbour into the ownership of Ryde Town Council will maximise its potential and create new opportunities for regeneration.

"It also supports the commitments in our Corporate Plan to work with town and community councils to find better ways for our assets to work positively for the community."