Ventnor Botanic Garden under new management
17 February 2012
Ventnor Botanic Garden on the Isle of Wight is soon to be under independent management after the Isle of Wight Council announced its preferred bidder to take over the running of the garden.
Local couple John and Mylene Curtis are now in negotiations with the council over taking on the garden and its nationally important collection of half-hardy Southern Hemisphere plants under a 125-year lease.
Their bid is in partnership with internationally-renowned taxonomist Susyn Andrews, member of the RHS Woody Plant Committee and Advisory Panel on Nomenclature and Taxonomy, and an Honorary Research Fellow with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
'The preferred bidders have been able to demonstrate that they would continue to develop the garden as a centre of botanic excellence, scientific importance and a tourist destination with an international reputation,' said Ian Anderson, of the Isle of Wight Council.
The Council voted to withdraw its annual £300,000 funding for the 11.7 hectare (29 acre) garden at the end of 2010 as part of deep budget cuts. After inviting expressions of interest, two formal bids were received, both described as 'of a very high standard'.
The existing staff would stay on at the garden under the terms of the bid, and it's hoped that after a period of familiarisation with the way the gardens are currently run, the new owners will take over the site in April.