Isle of Wight, UK

Place vision

Reviving a coastal attraction with communities for the future


The Isle of Wight is a beautiful UNESCO biosphere located off the south coast of England, known for its stunning coastline, picturesque countryside, and deep natural history. The Bay Area, encompassing the towns of Sandown, Shanklin, and Lake, on the southern coast, is a popular destination for tourists and locals, offering sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, and lush countryside. It’s an area where the changing economy has left empty hotels, abandoned spaces, yet lots of opportunities to snowball positive changes kickstarted by its creative community.

The Place Bureau partnered with Feria Urbanism and Storrie, who were commissioned by Isle of Wight Council to develop the place plan for The Bay Area. We looked holistically at the future of the Bay together with local people, encompassing economic revival, cultural attraction, health, education and nature. The place plan was shaped up through a three-day ‘think space’ — fun, intensive workshops, walks and conversations with locals to gather ideas and hopes of the place for the future. We worked with photographer Noel Moka to capture the sense of place and people.

Throughout the research gathered we took a deep dive into the lived experience of communities and formed an understanding of the links between the socio-economic and cultural components in the area. We also looked at ways that culture can be strengthened and how it can retain communities particularly young people and attract those visiting.

Coastal Visitor Economy

Vision Report

  • Feria Urbanism
  • Storiie
  • Isle of Wight Council