Study Isle of Wight: pick up your Higher Education Guide now

Study Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is a unique location – ideal to live, work, learn and play! Because it’s a great place to live, it’s also a great place to study. The Island is where you can take education to a higher level; whether you’ve already got a job and want to gain a higher education qualification at the same time; if you want to do a higher level or degree level apprenticeship, or if you want to take a full or part time course.

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Newport Harbour Masterplan

A brand-new foot and cycle bridge across the Medina is one of the features of the Newport Harbour Masterplan.

After two years of consultation the Isle of Wight Council has put forward the latest plans to redevelop the harbour and quay area in the heart of the Island’s historic county town.

An exhibition outlining the proposals will be based at 30 High Street, Newport, throughout the summer, with opportunities to talk to the masterplanning team:

  • Monday 15th July 2019 11am to 5.30pm
  • Tuesday 16th July 2019 2pm-8pm
  • Wednesday 17th July 2019 11am to 5pm

The exhibition continues Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4pm, from July 18th until August 30th, 2019 as well as touring various locations across the Island – keep an eye on social media for details. Or visit the consultation website at any time to have your say.

Options and concepts are displayed in this simulation of what some of the developments could look like.

Options under consideration include restaurants, housing, commercial space, new car parking, higher education resources, a rebuild of the existing Riverside Centre, a new hotel and a cultural venue.

Options for Newport Harbour



The project is intended to increase connectivity to the existing town centre, attract visitors, and ensure the future of the harbour by providing for maintenance and investment in harbour facilities.

The new proposals are mostly on the eastern side of the estuary, keeping the Medina itself available for boats and leaving more commercial functions on the west, including the existing marine and boating activity.
The plan aims to keep and reuse buildings where possible, to help conserve and enhance the historic and marine heritage of Newport Quay.

Plans have been drawn up in the light of suggestions from harbour users, residents and businesses, and as a result the new proposals include a smaller residential area as a gateway to the green space, the chance to create places where people can both live and work, and a potential new focus on creative industries.

The proposed lifting bridge is for pedestrians and cyclists, linking Seaclose Park with destinations such as the Isle of Wight College and St Mary’s Hospital, as well as the many shops and businesses at Dodnor.
This would be in addition to any possible future vehicle bridge, which is not included in this plan.

The proposals could be adopted as planning policy, which will then be the framework for development over the next 20-25 years with the first projects on the ground in the next two or three years.

Two years of regeneration

Reniera O'Donnell

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

It’s been two years since the Council made the brave decision to establish a regeneration team. It was daunting for me; coming in to help create a new department and kick start a programme that was tasked with plugging the big black (or is that red?) money hole. So I am indulging in a bit of a reflection on where we have gotten to thus far.

For me, the biggest change has been the rising enthusiasm both locally and from future investors and partners about the Island. The number of bids we got for taking forward the Newport Harbour masterplan was an indication that the wider development world is interested in our little Island. As well as this house prices in Ryde over the past year have seen highest rise in the country! Add to this the expansion of MHI Vestas with hundreds of new jobs; the investment going in to some of our hotels (the Priory Bay as an example); and the success of smaller businesses like Wyatt & Jack and Russell Ince’s Christmas Imaginarium and you start to see that the things are definitely shifting.

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Victoria regenerated

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

Reniera ODonnellNearly twenty years ago I arrived in the UK. My first foray into the world of local government was at Westminster City Council. You might not know the area, but  Westminster City Hall is down Victoria Street which, back then, was uninspiring and full of rather rubbish shops and drab offices. House of Fraser (or Army and Navy as it was then known) was about the only ‘brand’ on the strip.

Today, for the first time in a few years, I arrived once again at Victoria Station to attend a meeting at the Local Government Association. So I walked down Victoria Street, passing old haunts and trying to remember what the place looked like back then. Continue reading

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