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Portsmouth MP backed bid to ‘put the heart back’ into city centre submitted to Government

A bid to breathe new life into the heart of our city centre, backed by Stephen Morgan MP, has been submitted to Government.

The Portsmouth South MP has been working alongside city council staff to prepare a new plan to Ministers as part of the Levelling Up agenda, with a detailed bid now with Government for decision.

If successful, the £40m proposals agreed by the MP would revitalise key sites across the city centre, often ignored or forgotten for investment over the last decade.

Mr Morgan has been reviewing a range of proposals for sites and projects across the Portsmouth South constituency, with the bid-writing team sadly needing to rule out an application to improve access at Fratton Station due to strict Government criteria and the need to have ‘shovel ready’ schemes.

The MP is continuing to work alongside Portsmouth Football Club to unlock funding to secure improvements in this part of the constituency.

The Portsmouth South proposals include:

  • The creation of a truly world class city centre, transforming the cultural quarter in the heart of the city, to connect communities across Portsmouth and the wider sub-region to a vibrant, cultural economy.
  • A transformed Portsmouth Guildhall and New Theatre Royal, which will offer a greater range of facilities and enable new activities and performances for people to enjoy.
  • A new Cultural Spine project that will link the main cultural assets in a safe, car free space for people to gather and celebrate their city, connecting the major transport links such as bus routes, park and ride routes and a mainline railway station to ensure visitors can come without the use of a private car, supporting the city’s commitment to net zero.
  • Projects within walking distance of some of the poorest communities that offer opportunities to access events in a safe and car free environment, helping to tackle deprivation, health inequalities and job density issues in the region.

Despite well-prepared submissions in the past, to date the south of the city has not received a penny from the Chancellor for the so-called levelling up the Government are encouraging.

Commenting on progress with the bid as the submission heads to Ministers for decision, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“Our city centre has been forgotten and ignored for too long and over time this has taken its toll. There is a desperate need to revitalise this important part of our city to help breathe new life into Portsmouth and our local economy.

“I know from our own postbag how much residents and local businesses want to see greater care and attention given by the council and government to our city centre. That is why I will continue to do all I can to secure the investment our community deserves.

“By working on this bid and backing the submission for much-needed funds, I hope we can put the heart back into our city centre and create a place Portsmouth people can be proud of once again”.

On the importance of the area securing Levelling Up Funding from Government, the city MP added:

“Coastal communities like our own have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and the spiralling cost of living in the south east makes it even harder for those on the lowest incomes to get by, compared to those living in other areas.

“As one of the few net contributors to the Treasury and yet some of the most deprived areas in the UK, levelling up the south east is a vital part of levelling up the country as a whole.

“At a time when growth and investment is more critical than ever, it’s vital that Portsmouth and our region gets the support it needs from government.”

The Portsmouth South MP has praised the work of council officials in preparing the detail of the proposals and has vowed to take further actions to secure the regeneration money the city deserves from Ministers.

Mr Morgan will be taking a range of further actions to lobby Government for more support for Portsmouth.