Council leader is in talks to open high end hotel in Southsea

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  • Council leader is in talks with several firms over hotel plans
  • Hotel expected to attract people during major events
  • Chamber of Commerce said it must be able to offer conference facilities
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A COUNCIL leader has said four companies have shown an interest in opening a high-end hotel in the city.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, is in talks with the firms to open a four or five-star hotel at the seafront in Southsea.

We need to ensure that there is confidence for the hotels to secure the rooms and make it not just sustainable but profitable

Councillor Donna Jones, council leader

But she says it is important that the authority can prove that there is demand for it, and that the rooms will be full all year round, not just when there are major events happening in the city.

She said: ‘We have four companies that are interested.

‘The seafront is where we want the five-star hotel.

‘Hosting the America’s Cup and Victorious and the Great South Run is great but it’s not all year round.

‘We need to be maximising the opportunities.

‘The university is key to that. It hosts international events.

‘We need to ensure that there is confidence for the hotels to secure the rooms and make it not just sustainable but profitable.

‘I’m hoping that we will get to where we need to be with it.’

Maureen Frost is the deputy chief executive of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

She said a top-end hotel would have to be able to host conferences in order to be successful.

She said: ‘It has to link with the conference offer. It has to be a five-star hotel which attracts bigger companies to the city.

‘But it would need to encompass the capacity that we can’t currently cover.

‘We just don’t have the facilities at the moment.

‘These sorts of companies do look for high-end hotels.’

But she added that there is a need for a top-end hotel in the city, particularly with big events happening on a regular basis.

‘We’re often oversubscribed with hotel rooms. There should be some demand for it,’ she added. ‘It would put Portsmouth on the map, particularly with things like the America’s Cup with significant people wanting to come to the city.

‘We’re one of the few cities that doesn’t have a five-star hotel so I would support it.’

Cllr Jones is also in talks with companies interested in opening smaller two or three-star hotels around The Hard area.