About Ventnor Local

Our story

The Ventnor Local website was born out of frustration.

We are Richard and Vikki - Ventnor residents and founders of Ventnor Local. In the summer months, we rent out a room in our own home to holiday makers. To help guests maximise their stay, Vikki created comprehensive guidebooks to Ventnor and the Island.

However, to our surprise - and frustration - in compiling the guides, it was often hard to find basic information like opening hours, location, or even a description of what some of our local businesses actually do. It was clear that many are poorly represented in the online digital world.

Oh to have one website that lists every single shop, restaurant and business in Ventnor. Not just a boring directory, but one that is attractive and colourful yet informative.

The seed was sown!

We registered the Ventnor Local domain in the summer of 2023, but that’s as far as it got. Then at a meeting in February 2024 with David Oates and David Coates, the guys behind the Facebook page Ventnor Life 2024, we told them about our idea for creating Ventnor Local. They encouraged us to do it and just a few weeks later, here we are.

Our aims

We want Ventnor Local to be a directory of Ventnor's business that is as useful for locals, as it is for visitors, and that is "free forever". To that end on 9th April 2024 we were incorporated as a Community Interest Company: Ventnor Local CIC.

We both love Ventnor and want our town and our community to prosper. If visitors and residents spend their money here, then everyone benefits.

We have written some key aims:

- we need every business on it, together it would create a valuable resource;
- we want it to be "free forever" - yes, we know we keep repeating that! (see below);
- we are prepared to finance its startup costs for the first coupe of years to ensure it can become established;
- it needs to generate enough income to ensure ongoing operation, but we want to share profits with Ventnor based charities (see the financials section below);
- we want the succession planning for the site to become an opportunity for a young person to build their own business (ensuring "free forever" of course).

"Free forever", finance and charity

So, how can we be free forever, yet at the same time have income to cover the costs and to share with local charities? It's a good question, and we think there will be a few dimensions to it.

(1) If we can drive sufficient traffic to the site as a whole then we can qualify to place adverts on the site, such as those served by Google Adsense. With these, we as site owner, receive a proportion of the "pay per click" money paid to Google (there are others but we'll use Google as the well known example). Every business page would have a section to serve those adverts. Until we can ramp up the page-views and see the kind of browsing traffic we receive it is impossible to estimate what level of revenue this would generate. However, given that our hosting costs are modest it is feasible that this would, in time, cover those costs.

(2) We envisage a premium listing option for businesses that wish to take it. This is expected to appeal to those businesses that do not already have their own website. At this time we have not made decisions about how premium pages could benefit but ideas include:
- Ranking at the top of searches on the Ventnor Local site.
- More frequent updates for the information included.
- A "Recent news" section for the business.
- No Google Adsense adverts.
- No "similar businesses" section promoting competitors.

(3) Offering a website development service on a commercial basis where a proportion of the revenue goes back to Ventnor Local. We can provide good looking and good value websites like this. If you are interested, please use the contact form. This is also in our thoughts about succession planning - setting up and mentoring a young person to take over the operation of this site together with the website business to give them a livelihood. These are our thoughts, ambitions - dreams even - but we put them here so you can understand us.

Development plan & schedule

Initially we planned to include all businesses that we could find in the PO38-1 postcode area before going live. The initial set of businesses being loaded for a proof of concept. However, coming from the landslip meeting on 29 February is a wave of energy focussed at promoting local businesses. So, we made the decision to go-live with what we have and keep adding businesses as quickly as we can.

There is quite a lot of work to create a page: we have to ensure we have consistently sized and appropriate images, we have to collect the data from wherever we can find it (existing websites, Facebook, Google, etc) then enter it into our site.

We now have over 300 listings covering the PO38-1 area and are adding the villages of Niton, Whitwell and Wroxall.


We recognise that as well as the collective reputation raising the profile of all businesses in Ventnor, the opposite is also true, that reputation can be tarnished through association. Therefore, business listings will be denied or removed where there is activity that is seen by at least a material cohort of the general public to be undesirable. The interpretation of "undesirable" will not be include religious or cultural beliefs since we maintain a live and let live approach.