HISTORIC buildings are set to find a new lease of life with funding from councils and English Heritage.
More than £600,000 will be spent on coming up with ways to use disused nationally-important sites connected to Portsmouth Harbour.
It comes as English Heritage identified the area as having one of the highest densities of historically-significant buildings in the country.
Andrew Brown, regional director for the south east, said the project would find creative ways to use the sites, which could include Haslar Gunboat Yard at HMS Dolphin in Gosport.
He said sites further inland relevant to Portsmouth Harbour would be included.
Around £120,000 will be spent on a three-year project officer at Gosport Borough Council, who will assess sites.
Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport council, said, similar work had been carried out in the borough, including the use of No 2 Battery in Gosport as a diving museum, and Fort Gilkicker for residential use.
‘It’s to have a look at innovative ideas on how we can use these existing buildings,’ he said.
‘It’s far too early to say which buildings but I’m delighted to say we’ll have an expert in Gosport to assist in making those decisions. These are buildings of national importance.’
English Heritage will spend £500,000 on initiatives to get the buildings back into use.
Further funding will be sought from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Gosport and Portsmouth councils will put in £9,000 each for the officer while Fareham and Winchester councils and Dockyard Naval Base Property Trust will pay £3,000 each. Hampshire County Council will pay £30,000 and the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) will contribute £6,000.
English Heritage will pay £60,000 toward the officer.
A PUSH report said buildings soon to be released by the Ministry of Defence should be put into use.
Sites in Winchester and Havant will also be included.