Regeneration Youth Conference – March 2018

Young people from across the Isle of Wight gathered at Cowes Yacht Haven in March 2018 to shape decisions about the future of the Island.

Over 120 delegates attended the Isle of Wight Council’s Regeneration Youth Conference. The event provided an insight for the council into the hopes and aspirations of young islanders – and gave them an opportunity to actively shape their future.

Business leaders

The day began with a chance to question business leaders including Rob Kettlety of Windward Engineering in Rookley, and Mark Jackson of Cowes-based call centre firm Ascensos. (See full conference programme).

There were inspiring speeches about island life and sustainability from speakers including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, UKSA and Joe Davies, the Youth MP.

Regeneration for real

Sandown-based company Artecology gave a presentation about how buildings and offices could be inspired by the natural world. There was a chance to hear about examples of innovative designs both on the Island and across the world.

The afternoon session was a real-life exercise where young people were asked to redesign, redevelop or regenerate a key Island site, including Sandown seafront, Newport Harbour, Newport town centre and Ryde Esplanade.

Senior councillors, local architects and council staff were on hand to answer questions and listen to the plans put forward by the teams of delegates.

Architectural models and plans from the conference will be used to inspire conversations and new ideas as the regeneration team work on the key sites.

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Video interviews with delegates

Conference feedback

Councillor Dave Stewart, leader of the Isle of Wight Council said: “I was really impressed to see so many young people from across the Island, who see things differently to some of the adults here. I have heard things today and thought ‘That idea’s brilliant!’”

Megan Turner, 15, was a delegate from The Island Free School. She said: “It was a really great opportunity to work with others and to think about the possibilities for the island’s future. I really enjoyed making a regeneration plan for Ryde Esplanade.”

Orla Gradwell, 13, from Cowes Enterprise College said: “It was a really fun and interesting day that has inspired me to think about possibilities for my future and about the future of the Isle of Wight. I am interested in being an architect so it was amazing to meet architects and designers and work with them on our ideas for regeneration”