We have a (draft) strategy!

By Reniera O’Donnell, assistant director of regeneration, Isle of Wight Council.

Reniera ODonnellLast week we held our second annual regeneration conference. We opted for a smaller venue this year and chose to hold it at Lakeside in Wootton. To our utter amazement it was completely booked out about 2 weeks in advance and we even ran a waiting list on the day. This is all great news. Word is getting out that stuff is happening and people want to know about it and get involved.

The main objective of the event was to launch our draft regeneration strategy. Yes, we have finally put into one document the aims, objectives and ambitions for the programme and now need people to let us know what they think. I am almost 100 per cent  certain, we haven’t gotten it all right yet! So far, it has been positively received. In the words of ‘onthewight’ – “It’s a long read, but comprehensive and worth working your way through if you have an interest in any regeneration plans”. The strategy is available online through our website  where you can also download a PDF copy. Please let us know what you think and stay engaged! Continue reading

A festival for the environment?

By Reniera O’Donnell, assistant director of regeneration, Isle of Wight Council.

Reniera ODonnellWhat an amazing festival weekend the Island had! Showcased in all its sunny glory, the Isle of Wight gave the festival-goers a real treat. This was my second festival and it really was great fun. It got me thinking though. There we were, enjoying some fantastic music and great atmosphere, whilst watching the ground get more and more littered with plastic and rubbish. People were letting balloons fly free, and any wildlife stood no chance of surviving the footfall of tens of thousands of happy humans. The fact that I was also a keynote speaker at the Environment conference on Tuesday made the realities of the environmental impact of us humans even more stark. Continue reading

How the Island’s young people are getting involved

By Reniera O’Donnell, assistant director of regeneration, Isle of Wight Council. 

One of the best aspects of my job is that I get to work with some of our amazing young people on the Island. Let’s be honest, it’s been a few years (one or two really!) since I was a teenager and today’s young people find themselves in a very different world to the one I grew up in so, I find it quite hard to find common ground and work out how to appear even remotely cool (I don’t) when spending time with them. Continue reading

Ryde tells us

Reniera ODonnell headshot 800pxI won’t lie, last week’s event at Ryde Castle was a tough gig. It’s daunting standing up in front of over 140 people who are so passionate about their seafront and don’t like the options we’ve looked at so far! But I came away with a much deeper understanding of what changes residents want and don’t want on Ryde esplanade – and hopefully we’ve got a wider group of people who want to stay involved. Continue reading

The positive army

I have been meaning to start this blog for months. Nine months into my role as Assistant Director Regeneration, it’s probably about time to share some thoughts on what we are aiming to achieve.

Reniera presenting the Regeneration Programme at the launch event in July 2017

Introductions first. I am Reniera, the new Assistant Director Regeneration at the Isle of Wight Council. I moved to the Island in 2015 and live in Ryde with my husband, three children, two cats and four fish. I love everything about life on the Isle of Wight and am so excited to be part of the team spear-heading the changes this Island needs to keep moving forward.

In July, we held a really successful launch event that was attended by over 130 people and even drew in some mainland investors. It was brilliant to be sharing the podium with some inspirational speakers and sharing the Council’s ambitions for regenerating the Island’s economy. Continue reading