Isle of Wight Council

31 May 2022

Students help out East Cowes Esplanade

Students from the Isle of Wight College's Uniformed Services course have been helping out with the work to improve East Cowes Esplanade.

A three-month project to restore access to the popular esplanade area is now underway at East Cowes. Landslips in 2014 and 2018 meant part of the beachfront road had to be closed. Following community fundraising and support the Isle of Wight Council appointed Island-based contractor John Peck Construction to stabilise the soft slopes with rock baskets, and install new seating along the promenade. 

In the week beginning 26 May 2022 students from the Isle of Wight College joined contractors from John Peck Construction at East Cowes to learn about the project, and help with work building the new structures. 

Hayley Mcfarlane, a student on the Uniformed Services course,  said: "I feel like this work will really help the community in East Cowes. The new area will bring more people down here because it's easy to get to, and it's a new view!" 

Dominic Brihmani said: "The land by the landslide has just been a waste of space really.  So now we're helping to make it into a nice space for the community to use."

Natasha Morgan added: "I'm enjoying the work here, it's very methodical and satisfying. I like knowing that the esplanade is going to be a space for people to enjoy. It feels nice to be renovating the area around us."

Cllr Sharon Lake of East Cowes Town Council said: "The East Cowes community have been vocal for a number of years regards improving accessibility and the visual appearance of this much loved area. East Cowes Town Council has been working with community groups and the Isle of Wight Council since early 2018 with a view to bringing this project to a successful conclusion. There have been times when we thought it would never happen but we are thankful to Chris Ashman, the Isle of Wight Council's Director of Regeneration, for taking our wishes seriously and allowing us to explore a way forward. I am pleased that phase one of this project has finally come to a successful conclusion. Never underestimate the power of a united and committed community." 

Cllr Karl Love said: "This is an important project for the people of East Cowes. I'm pleased that some of the Island's young people have come forward to lend a hand, with help from the Isle of Wight College. I'm grateful to John Peck Construction for taking the time to work with the students and help them learn about the way this scheme is being delivered. The esplanade improvement project is a great example of community-led regeneration with East Cowes Town Council working alongside island and government ambitions to improve quality of life and prosperity for everybody." 

Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, the Isle of Wight Council's cabinet member for regeneration, said: "We are putting regeneration money into the esplanade improvements because we know it will benefit the wider town of East Cowes. And more is on the way, with work already starting at the Columbine building nearby, supported by the £5.8m Levelling-Up Fund investment into the East Cowes Marine Hub." 

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Students working at East Cowes esplanade
Students working at East Cowes esplanade
  • Funding also comes from Sovereign Housing, East Cowes Community Partnership, East Cowes Town Council, the Shrape Swimmers community group, the Isle of Wight Council and businesses.
East Cowes Isle of Wight