Good news for historic gems in Portsmouth and Gosport

Horse Sand Fort
Horse Sand Fort
From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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THE race is on to save historic buildings along the south coast including a theatre, boat repair yard and seafront forts.

Historic England is working with local authorities to bring old, run-down buildings into use to boost the local economy.

Hilsea Lines

Hilsea Lines

Trinity Methodist Church in Albert Road, Southsea, has been added to the at risk register due to leaking roofs and masonry which is causing damage to the interior of the church.

A grant has been offered by the Heritage Lottery Fund towards repairing the damage

Groundlings Theatre has been given a lifeline by Historic England, which protects listed and important historical buildings and was previously called English Heritage.

The Beneficial School in Portsea – the 200-year-old building used by Groundlings – needs more than £660,000-worth of repairs.

The main thrust is to help the economic regeneration of areas by putting heritage buildings at risk, back into use

Clare Charlesworth

But thanks to a £7,000 grant from Historic England a wide-reaching survey has been carried out identifying all the work needed to restore it.

Richard Stride, from Groundlings, said: ‘It is fantastic to have Historic England’s support.

‘It means we can now go for grants and we have a good basis to say “this is what needs to be done”.’

Heritage risk principle adviser Clare Charlesworth, said: ‘All the sites come under the Portsmouth Harbour Project. We’ve been working on it for about 18 months and have another 18 months to go.

HolyTrinity Methodist Church, Albert Road, Southsea

HolyTrinity Methodist Church, Albert Road, Southsea

‘The main thrust is to work with the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire to help the economic regeneration of areas by putting heritage buildings at risk, back into use.

‘Parts of Hilsea Lines are already in use as a music studio, for storage and facilities for Portsmouth City Council.

‘We’re also looking at trying to put a First World War museum in a significant derelict part known as Bastion No. 5.

‘At the moment it is used for undesirable purposes. It’s a lost scheduled monument and we need to make sure there is access to it to bring it back into good condition’.

Groundlings Theatre

Groundlings Theatre

In Gosport, the old Guardhouses, in Haslar Gunboat Yard, which were used to repair the Royal Navy gunboats, are being leased by local businesses.

If you have an idea for a building at risk let Historic England know by calling the south east office on 01483 252020 or go to historicengland.org.uk.