A FORMER Royal Navy yard overlooking Portsmouth Harbour has been given a shot in the arm after three businesses moved in.
Royal Clarence Yard in Gosport was expected to become a thriving business and residential area.
My vision is that we have a range of independent businesses.Ben Bartrip
Although people quickly moved into new homes, business struggled to take off, leaving residents disappointed.
But Julie Malec and Jake Yeo have launched bistro Arty’s at Royal Clarence Marina after moving from Knowle, which has helped the area on its way.
Jake said: ‘It was a plunge for us and a huge risk. We were sceptical as we had been around the area previously and not seen a soul.
‘However, we recognised the potential of the area and we welcome any other businesses that choose to open up.
‘We don’t see them as competition as the new ones are different to us.’
Earlier this week, child-friendly cafe The Wendy House opened its doors and today The Victualler Harbourside Bar & Restaurant has its official opening.
Ben Bartrip, owner of The Victualler, believes Royal Clarence Marina could become an alternative to Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays.
Ben, from Oxford, said: ‘I’ve been looking at opening up a business in the area for a while.
‘Gunwharf is a bland area with chain bars and restaurants. My vision is that we have a range of independent businesses.
‘Competition is healthy. Granted, we are competing together but I hope that people will come to Royal Clarence Marina then choose where they want to go once they’re here.’
The Wendy House is Olivia Mulcahy’s first business and she thought the marina was the ideal location.
Olivia said: ‘It’s a baby-proof site. There are no cars or vehicles coming past, which means in the summer children will be able to play outside. My cafe is a big space and mums can come and sit and have a cup of tea whilst their children play.’
Royal Clarence resident Philippa Dickson said that people in the area were pleased that businesses had moved in.
Philippa said: ‘We are delighted about the opening of the waterfront and we wish them well.
‘However, the businesses are here for everyone and I encourage all to come to this beautiful place.’
Jon Vetori from developer Berkeley Homes said: ‘We will build on this success and occupy the remaining commercial space, which is situated in a prime waterfront position.’