A former primary school could be sold off and made into a marine heritage centre, with an Isle of Wight attraction moving in.

Yarmouth Primary School has been empty for more than a year after pupils moved down the road to Freshwater.

The Isle of Wight Council put the site, on Mill Lane, up for sale last summer as it was 'surplus to educational requirements' and received 12 bids.

The authority has revealed its preferred bid — which received 55 emails of support — is to turn the school into a marine heritage exhibition, education and activity centre.

The scheme is proposed by Yarmouth Community Foundation, and will include building eight affordable houses.

The foundation is made up of the Herapath Shenton Trust and the Maritime Archaeology Trust and under the plans the Shipwreck Centre, currently at Arreton Barns, could move to the West Wight.

Another bid came from Yarmouth Town Council for affordable housing and a cultural, creative and exhibition centre.

Other proposals ranged from £50,000 to £677,000 and could see the former school site turned into a boatyard or retirement apartments; a powerboat school and hospitality training centre or a food retail outlet.

No letters of support were received for the other bids.

The council's cabinet will consider the bids next Thursday (March 14), and if following officers' recommendation, the school would be sold to the foundation which has offered to buy the site for £435,000.

When the site is sold, the council will keep £400,000 to reimburse the refurbishment costs for the Freshwater and Yarmouth School building, and anything else will be given to the Department for Education.

Before the council can sell the site, it will need the agreement of the government to dispose of the school.

The council has said the preferred bid "represents the best value for both the public purse and to the council" and that it has a "strong community element which offers substantial benefits to the people of Yarmouth and the Island."

The bids were evaluated by council officers and an independent consultancy, ranking them against specific considerations.

Key criteria, the council has said, were proof of deliverability (having sufficient funds to purchase the site) as quickly as possible and the ability to manage the development in the long term.

Overall, the maritime centre was first, followed by the proposals for the boatyard and then the town council's ideas.