Revealed: Final design of ‘hub’ at the heart of new Somers Town

PLAN An artist's impression of the proposed Somers Town hub
PLAN An artist's impression of the proposed Somers Town hub

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THIS IS the final design for a multi-million pound community hub in one of Portsmouth’s most deprived areas.

The two-storey, £12m tubular building will span Winston Churchill Avenue, and will be built as the final stage of the Somers Town regeneration phase one.

But before it is approved by Portsmouth City Council, members of the public have the chance to say what they think, and suggest changes to it.

The council’s Somers Town regeneration project manager, Launce Morgan, said: ‘We have involved the general public in this building from day one. It’s for them, so we want them to be happy with what we’re doing. It has taken some time for us to get to the stage where we’re totally happy with the design, but now we want to make sure the public has the chance to suggest improvements or alterations.’

Three sessions will take place for the public to have their say on the 4,000sq metre building, at Southsea Community Centre, King Street, on Monday, June 13, from 5pm to 7pm, then at St Peter’s Church Hall, Fraser Road, June 15, from 10am to 12pm, and at Wilmcote House community room, Tyseley Road, on June 18, from 11am to 1pm.

The building will contain a health centre, with a dental service, a housing advice centre, a cafe and community centre to replace Southsea community centre, and a youth centre to replace the Brook Club on Sackville Street.

The picture above, released to The News, shows the building spanning Winston Churchill Avenue south to north, close to Ladywood House.

Mr Morgan said: ‘There’s not a lot of space to build, so we decided it would be best for it to span the road. We built over, rather than on land, to give enough space for the people of Somers Town. They deserve the best and that’s what we hope to give them.’

The regeneration team hopes to submit a planning application for the centre in September, with work to start in May 2012 and finish by December 2013.

‘Distinctive’ design for ‘landmark’

AS WELL as being one of the city’s newest buildings for community use, the ‘hub’ will also be one of the most unusual-looking structures.

It will cross above Winston Churchill Avenue, and its tubular design has been chosen to help it ‘stand out’ for Somers Town residents.

Launce Morgan, project manager, said: ‘The tubular design was suggested very early on in the design process, and it was something the public and councillors were very keen on. It will be a landmark building people can be proud of. It’s a distinctive design and we’re delighted.’