A TOURIST hotspot could be transformed into a haven for arts and crafts.
Residents are being asked whether the Hot Walls, in Old Portsmouth, should be given a new lease of life.
Pictures created by architects show the empty arches being converted into art studios and the area being more pedestrian-friendly.
A brasserie could be set up to help generate income and subsidise the cost of renting studio space.
The arts and crafts quarter would be managed by a not-for-profit company.
Portsmouth City Council is seeking funding for the project and discussions have taken place with English Heritage about how it can get involved.
Councillor Lee Hunt, cabinet member for culture and leisure said: ‘This is an incredibly exciting proposal, but we want to make sure everyone is supportive and has the chance to give feedback.
‘The plans are sympathetic to the historic site, while breathing new life into the area, and creating opportunities for the future.
‘People working in creative industries would benefit from reduced rent, not to mention the attraction of working in an attractive location.’
The council said artists would also benefit because they could display their work in the Round Tower, which recently had a refurbishment.
The Hot Walls area is between The Round Tower and Square Tower. Residents saw the proposals at the Hot Walls on Saturday as part of a public consultation which is running until August 7.
Visitors were also able to meet council officers at the Square Tower yesterday from 10am until 2pm.
Another session is being held on Monday from 4pm until 8pm at Becket Hall, in Oyster Street, Old Portsmouth. A question-and-answer session with officers and architects runs from 6.30pm. Plans are available to view in Central Library and Southsea Library, reception areas of the civic offices and at Hotwalls Cafe, in Old Portsmouth.
An online survey can be filled in at surveymonkey.com/s/ARTches or you can write to Hotwalls Arches Proposals, c/o Neighbourhood Forums, Freepost (SCE4514), Civic Offices, Portsmouth, PO1 2YZ.