A BRIGHT future for an Isle of Wight theatre is predicted by the man heading the ambitious enterprise to breathe new life into the disused venue.
It was revealed this week that 25-year-old musician Joe Gladdis, working with a so-far un-named group of well-known and established music promoters and event organisers, has bought the freehold of Ryde Theatre for £300,000.
He heads Phantom Productions, which wants to create a jewel in the crown, for Ryde and the wider Island community.
"I have clear plans and am currently working with some very experienced professionals who are equally as passionate about creating something very special at Ryde Theatre.
"The theatre is a magnificent building but it does need a significant amount of work and commitment to bring it back to its former glory."
He said detailed costings were now being prepared for restoration and renovation to include advanced sound and technical systems. The main auditorium would host live music performances. New performance areas and a recording studio would also be created.
Joe said: "A number of agreements have been entered into to enable the public toilets to remain open and to incorporate the ability to retain within the building the Ryde CCTV system together with the Shopwatch and Pubwatch communication bases.
"It was also agreed a lease would be put in place to secure and protect the war memorial."
Joe is a singer-songwriter, who lives in Cowes and performs under the name Joe Winston. He has worked with various artists in the USA and Canada where he has co-written a number of projects.
The decision was taken under delegated powers yesterday (Thursday) by Cllr George Brown.
• A previous £460,000 bid to the Isle of Wight Council for the theatre by a rival consortium failed at the eleventh hour.