News comment: It’s elementary – let’s see the Debenhams problem solved with Sherlock Holmes museum

The promise of a Sherlock Holmes museum – or experience – has been dangled in front of us for years.

Saturday, 27th April 2019, 12:12 pm
Updated Saturday, 27th April 2019, 12:18 pm
Sherlock Holmes Picture: Dynamosquito/Flickr

For a while, it was to be in the Northern Quarter, a now-mythical development aimed at turning round the city’s economic fortunes around. Then, when the Northern Quarter proved to be too great a conundrum to solve, at the beginning of 2017 a global attraction was proposed on Southsea seafront, off Avenue de Caen.

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Southsea Debenhams could become Sherlock Holmes museum – or a cinema

At the time councillors promised that planning permission would be granted by the end of that year, with real action seen… but the case remains open and the leads have gone suspiciously quiet in recent months.

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A person walks past Debenhams department store in Southsea Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

And now we have an idea of the extensive Roger Lancelyn Green collection moving into what will soon be the former Debenhams store in Southsea.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. 

Electioneering? Quite possibly.

But doable? Well, yes. 

Here’s a large central building in an area that already attracts people.A proper tourist attraction would regenerate the area, which after the blow of the Knight and Lee closure which takes effect in July, will be hit badly by Debenhams’ departure next year. 

The space is right, the location is right… now the practicalities of cash, grants, leaseholds and freeholds and other elements will kick. But we say that this is a laudable aim that should be pursued. The News was firmly behind the seafront plan for the Sherlock Holmes Experience and we also lend our support to this plan. We hope all sides work together to make it happen.