AMBITIOUS plans to rejuvenate The Hard in Portsmouth have taken a major step forward.
The Solent Local Transport Body has identified the run-down area as one of three that need investment.
It is applying to the Department for Transport for £5.33m to go towards a revamp.
The cash would also be used to turn nearby Brunel House into a state-of-the-art hotel with offices and shops.
Up to 1,690 jobs and 300 new homes could be created.
The body is made up of representatives from Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth and Southampton city councils, Isle of Wight Council and The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.
It also wants the government department to invest £9m into the Southampton Station Quarter, backed by Southampton City Council, and give £5.52m to the county council so it can make changes to the A27 in central Fareham.
Areas that could be improved include Station Roundabout and Gudge Heath Lane.
The project at The Hard was put forward by Portsmouth City Council.
If it gets the grant then it would plough an extra £2.5m into the scheme.
Councillor Jason Fazackarley, who is the city council’s cabinet member for traffic and transport, said the development would be key to the overall regeneration of Portsmouth.
‘The current design and layout of The Hard Interchange was put in place in the late 1960s,’ he said. ‘It looks a bit old and derelict now.
‘Portsmouth has been successful in getting government funding for a number of years.
‘There’s potential for development there to improve transport links. It’s an important transport link because it caters for trains, coaches, buses and ferries.’
Cllr Sean Woodward, the county council’s executive member for economy, transport and environment, said: ‘We have got two critical developments happening in the area; one being Welborne, where 6,000 new homes and 6,000 new jobs will be created, and the former site of HMS Daedalus, where 4,000 new jobs are being created.
‘The A27 is the glue which binds these projects together.
‘Station Roundabout quite frequently has tailbacks that go back to junction 11 of the M27.
‘That is quite unacceptable.’
The body has until the end of the month to send off its applications for funding.