Five-year plan will see improvement to Gosport waterfront and high street

A FIVE-YEAR plan has been published to improve a town centre to boost tourism and create jobs.

Tuesday, 14th June 2016, 6:08 am
Gosport bus station, which is one of the targets of a drive to improve the town

Gosport’s Coastal Community Team has created the plan for the town’s waterfront section and high street.

It is hoped the economic plan will link the two areas and see them grow by attracting more businesses and visitors.

The strategy has been published following four days of consultations in January.

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About 40 people from a variety of businesses and industries in Gosport were invited to give their thoughts.

It has short-term plans aimed to be completed this year, medium-term plans to be implemented within the next five years and long-term plans for after five years.

Coastal Community Team member Peter Cardy, from Gosport Marine Scene, said: ‘The plan is a very important step towards seeing how the waterfront could connect to the high street.

‘Up to now, the two areas have been thought of as separate to each other.

‘This plan looks at enticing visitors to the waterfront, keeping them there and then getting them to the high street. At the moment that isn’t happening.

‘This plan is tremendously important.’

Mr Cardy said two of the biggest plans include the bus station and an area known as the retained area near Gosport boatyard, which has deep water and historic buildings.

As previously reported in The News, it is hoped the bus station will have a mix of shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and residential developments.

For the retained area, it is hoped a berth will be built 
for big yachts to use along with marine businesses moving into the historic buildings.

Mr Cardy added: ‘If these two big plans come to fruition, it will make all the difference to the waterfront and high street.

‘They will light up the area in a way that’s never been done before.’

One of the short-term plans has already been brought in and sees volunteers work as ambassadors to help visitors coming to Gosport for big events.

The team will be at HMS Sultan Summer Show this weekend and the P1 Grand Prix of the Sea in July.

Other plans include improving the sea defences to open up pedestrian access along the waterfront and looking at having pop-up shops in Royal Clarence Yard.

The Coastal Community Team, which is made up of representatives from marine industries, was set up in July last year after receiving £10,000 from the government to help come up with a plan for the waterfront.