Organisers of 2016 Portsmouth America’s Cup World Series agree to put free activities on Southsea Common

Crowds at the  America's Cup in Portsmouth in July
Crowds at the America's Cup in Portsmouth in July

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A PLEDGE has been made that activities will take place on Southsea Common for local people during the 2016 America’s Cup World Series after all.

The original plan for next year’s sailing spectacle was to make the green a free-to-enter area to watch the races .

We have to take people with us with this event, that’s what we said. Everyone has to feel included because that’s how the event started up this year.

Portsmouth Tory culture boss Linda Symes

But event organiser Team Origin was not going to provide screens or entertainment for guests.

That was because there are plans to set up a separate race village near Southsea Castle with a programme of activities associated with the event, which visitors would to pay to enter.

Now bosses have agreed, in conjunction with the city council, to put some attractions on the common – and still keep it free.

The move comes following a private meeting with council and event officials yesterday.

Tory culture boss Linda Symes, who attended, said: ‘It was a good meeting and this is good for Team Origin and the city.

‘We have to take people with us with this event, that’s what we said. Everyone has to feel included because that’s how the event started up this year.

‘The city council is very keen that as a precedent was set this year, that local people are involved and included.

‘For next year it originally didn’t seem the case, but I am pleased Team Origin has come forward with ideas that will integrate the whole community.

‘There will be infrastructure on the common next year.’

The ideas have yet to be agreed and another meeting will be held in January.

The council has still yet to formally approve the use of land across the common for next year’s event, which follows on the back of the first cup regatta in Portsmouth this summer. It featured Portsmouth-based sailing side Land Rover BAR, skippered by Olympic sailing legend Sir Ben Ainslie.

Tickets for next year’s regatta can be bought from acwsportsmouth.com