Multi-million transformation of two Portsmouth high streets takes a step closer
A major transformation of two Portsmouth high streets has taken a step forward as the city council has submitted a bid for £10.5 million government funding.
£4.9 million has been earmarked to improve Commercial Road and £5.6 million for Fratton Road in the bid submitted to the Future High Streets Fund.
Plans include changing property use, improving public spaces and making it easier for new businesses to open.
Traders from each high street have been involved in developing proposals, with ideas for Fratton Road including food markets, street festivals and music events.
While plans for Commercial Road focus on transforming space within buildings to create co-working areas businesses can share and greater community engagement around future regeneration.
Cllr Steve Pitt, Portsmouth City Council‘s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Economic Development, said: “Revamping two of our major high streets is much needed and more relevant than ever in the current climate.
“We want to make better use of properties and public spaces to make them more engaging, vibrant and sustainable.”
He continued: “We know all high streets have been facing real challenges and we are committed to working with traders across the city.
“The government criteria for this funding focuses on areas with shop vacancies, low footfall and poor air quality, meaning Commercial Road and Fratton Road are most likely to succeed in their bids and we’ve shaped the plans and funding requests to give us the best chance of securing money to make improvements.”
Sites have also been identified on Fratton Road for residential development with a view to provide affordable housing.
A decision from government is expected later this year, along with a second round of funding opportunities which could allow the council to look at further bids for high streets.