Ambassadors are needed to help shape Portsmouth

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CALLS are being made for people to become Portsmouth ambassadors and spread the word about the city’s bright future.

At least 100 recruits are needed to inspire businesses, residents, young people and visitors about ambitious plans for the transformation of Portsmouth.

As reported in The News, city leaders estimate new developments including the long-awaited Northern Quarter, the Tipner regeneration, plans for a bridge to Port Solent and investments in Portsmouth City Council-owned land could create more than 16,000 new jobs.

This could lead to 5,000 new homes being built in the city in the next decade and a mammoth total investment of at least £1bn.

But volunteers are needed to help share the good news as part of Shaping the Future of Portsmouth – which is backed by The News.

Kathy Wadsworth, the council’s director of regeneration, said: ‘We want people who are passionate about the city. Some Portsmouth ambassadors might find themselves in a school speaking in front of 400 children, others might feel comfortable speaking in front of a neighbourhood forum of say, 20 people.

‘You don’t have to have any technological knowledge.

‘It’s more about having enthusiasm. We will give you the confidence and training to take with you.

‘Really all they would need is a desire to support our city.

‘Things are happening in Portsmouth. It is a city that is growing and there are going to be fantastic job opportunities.

‘There will be a lovely new city centre and beautiful developments to attract tourists.

‘About 16,000 new jobs are going to be created – but people need to get the skills to do them.

‘We want to try and get to all of the residents in Portsmouth so they know about the opportunities on offer.’

Each Portsmouth ambassador will be given training by Highbury College in Cosham to equip them with the skills they need to deliver presentations to schools, businesses, neighbourhood forums and community groups.

Already about 70 people have signed up to the scheme – but more recruits are needed.

Email sam.menage@ shapingportsmouth.co.uk