Official opening planned for Ventnor walkway improvement works

Posted on: March 20, 2024 at 2:53 pm group of people standing on new walkway

An afternoon of activities are being planned to celebrate the opening of Ventnor’s Rene Howe Walk (The Cascade) on Good Friday.

The opening follows the complete refurbishment of the popular walkway by Island Roads and it coincides with the opening of the town’s iconic paddling pool for the bank holiday weekend.

Ventnor Town Council is also providing other activities to celebrate the scheme’s completion and also to 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 be joining the churches in Ventnor soon.

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.

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 & 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.

Despite a short delay due to a breakdown at the mainland facility where the railings were galvanised, the walkway is set to fully open by the Easter weekend as planned.

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.”

Councillor Steph Toogood from Ventnor Town Council said: “We are very much looking forward to officially opening Rene Howe Walk at 2pm and Good Friday and invite people to join us to enjoy the wonderful walk down the Cascade. There will be activities for children near the paddling pool – which will be open throughout the bank holiday weekend for those brave enough for a paddle – and heritage displays for those interested in finding out more about Ventnor’s history.

“We would like to thank Island Roads and their team of contractors for upgrading a key route down to Ventnor’s beautiful seafront. It is great that so many local companies have come together and brought their expertise to the refurbishment of what is such a well-used and much-loved Island walkway.”

Councillor Ed Blake, Isle of Wight Councillor for Ventnor West said: “It’s brilliant that this project will be finished in time for Easter. As the only pedestrian access for disabled people and push chairs to the seafront, the repair project was vital to maintain full accessibility.”

Ventnor is very much open for business and can be accessed via Wroxall or Whitwell directions.

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