A popular Isle of Wight seafront walkway will be officially opened today (Good Friday), with an afternoon of activities planned to celebrate.

The new seafront walkway to improve Rene Howe Walk (the Cascade) in Ventnor was originally due to open three weeks ago, but a problem with the galvanisation process for the railings led to delays.

The complete refurbishment of the popular walkway coincides with today's opening of the town’s iconic paddling pool for the bank holiday weekend.

Ventnor Town Council will also provide other activities to celebrate the scheme’s completion, and will welcome residents and visitors to enjoy the beginning of the Easter Holiday.

At 1.30pm, the historic drinking fountain located at the bottom of the Cascade – recently restored by Ventnor Enhancement Fund - will be blessed by Rev Nicola Pinnock, Deacon at St Catherine’s Church.

There will also be the opportunity for people to meet Rev Tom Burden who will soon be joining the churches in Ventnor.

This short ceremony will be followed by the official opening of the pedestrian route at 2pm by Ventnor Carnival Royalty.

They will cut a ribbon to officially declare the upgraded walkway open.

Children’s games, organised by the town council, will take place near the paddling pool, and information about the town’s heritage will be on display nearby.

There will be free Easter eggs, surprise pirates, the Easter Bunny, and performances from Ventnor Ukulele Group and Ventnor Comic Jazz Band. 

The scheme to replace the rusting Victorian railings with those meeting modern safety standards and resurface the walkway has been undertaken by Island Roads with the help of multiple local contractors and suppliers.

Havenstreet-based Stoneham Construction has managed the scheme, with East Cowes-based C45 undertaking the formation of the reinforced concrete slab and edge beam. 

The railings were produced and installed by Cowes-based DMR Engineering and powder coated by Island Powder Coating and Electroplating in Sandown.

Wight Building Materials provided the concrete for the railing foundations and materials for resurfacing, and the scaffolding was supplied by Newport-based MG Solutions.

Island Roads project manager, Nathaniel Saunders, said: “We would like to thank local residents and businesses for their patience while we have undertaken our work.

"Despite experiencing several named storms and some of the wettest weather on record we are proud to be able to open the walkway in time for Easter.

“It has been a great team effort, with multiple Island companies involved in the scheme, resulting in a robust walkway to be enjoyed by residents and visitors for years to come.”