A maritime attraction on the Isle of Wight can move into a former primary school after its bid was accepted by the Isle of Wight Council.

Yarmouth Primary School has been empty since pupils moved to Freshwater last year and was marked up as 'surplus to educational requirements'.

The bid, from the Yarmouth Community Foundation — which is made up of Herapath Shenton Trust and the Maritime Archaeology Trust — will see the Shipwreck Centre, currently at Arreton Barns, move into the old school building.

An education and activity centre will be created, and eight affordable houses will be built at the site on Mill Road.

The Isle of Wight Council received 12 bids for the site and unanimously accepted its preferred option from the community foundation, which received 55 emails of support.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting last night (Thursday), Cllr Ian Stephens, the deputy council leader, said: "We need to make sure we look at not only what we are doing for the site and price but the best value for the people of Yarmouth and the community."

Isle of Wight County Press:

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

The Yarmouth Community Foundation has proposed to buy the site from the Isle of Wight Council for £435,000 — of which the council would keep £400,000 and the Department for Education would be given the rest.

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

Another bid came from Yarmouth Town Council for affordable housing and a cultural, creative and exhibition centre but was marked as the Isle of Wight Council's third favourite bid.

No letters of support were received for other bids.

Cllr Paul Fuller said it was welcoming to see a bidder who wanted to put some community gain back into Yarmouth and wished the Yarmouth Community Foundation luck as its bid was 'exemplary'.

Cllr Debbie Andre, who was cabinet member for children's education when the school moved out, said she was delighted a use was being found for the site.