Developer wants to learn more on Holmes proposals

SUPPORT The firm behind the Northern Quarter is backing plans for a Sherlock Holmes attraction
SUPPORT The firm behind the Northern Quarter is backing plans for a Sherlock Holmes attraction
Jacquie Shaw of the NMRN

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THE developer behind the regeneration of Portsmouth’s Northern Quarter is ‘interested’ in including a Sherlock Holmes attraction as part of its plans.

As reported, Centros wants to create a retail and leisure complex on the former Tricorn centre site by the end of 2018 – a move that would breathe new life into the city centre.

A planning application is due to be submitted to Portsmouth City Council in early April.

Portsmouth Cultural Partnership has also come up with an idea to build a multimedia experience dedicated to Sherlock Holmes in the city – and believes the Northern Quarter could be a great place for it. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle came up with the idea for the detective while working as a GP in Southsea.

Centros is interested and wants to find out more about the proposal, which is still in the early stages – to see if it could work and be a draw for shoppers.

Centros director John Marsh said: ‘Our Northern Quarter proposals are being designed to create a strong combination of shopping and leisure activities, that will give people compelling reasons to visit the city centre.

‘The plans include a central leisure hub and we’re open-minded about its content at present. The proposed Sherlock Holmes attraction sounds interesting and we would certainly like to learn more about the idea and the quality of attraction it might offer.’

It’s hoped the attraction will draw upon the resources of the Arthur Conan Doyle collection, which is in Portsmouth and is the largest of its kind in the world. Some is on display and some is in storage.

The attraction is just one of the ways the collection could be shown off.

Councillor Hugh Mason, deputy council leader, said that while it was too early to speculate where the attraction could be, it was good to see a developer taking development in the city seriously.

The plans, if they come to light, would be a big boost to the local economy, in that they would attract more jobs and international visitors.

Sherlock fan Olof Gustafsson, 33, who lives in Stockholm, Sweden, said he would certainly be interested in coming over to see it. ‘I love Sherlock Holmes, even more now that Benedict Cumberbatch is playing him so well,’ he said.

A private company has been commissioned to carry out a report into the commercial benefits.