THE battle is on to bring a 1,000ft inflatable water slide to Portsmouth this summer.
A giant flume the length of three football pitches is set to come to the south coast after organisers Slide the City announced plans to stage water parties in cities across the UK.
The American firm’s popular events, which include inflatables, have been a sensation in the States, attracting hundreds of thrill-seekers each day.
But with Slide the City unveiling a plan to hold a summer date in either Portsmouth or Southampton, the fight is on to convince the company to choose this part of Hampshire.
Organisers have said if The News acquires enough likes on our Facebook page dedicated to the bid for the slide it will help persuade them to pick Portsmouth
Slide the City confirmed to The News that it was targeting Portsmouth as a location for the 300m-long slide in the next few months but ‘needed a proper hill to fit its needs’.
Spokesman Tim Knapp said: ‘This is a family-friendly slip-and-slide water party event.
‘There will be live music, food, drinks, water, and of course the biggest slip-and-slide that you’ve ever seen.
‘We are looking into a location in Portsmouth. The tricky part is that we need to find a proper hill that fits our needs.
‘We need somewhere that is long and wide and straight.
‘But Slide the City will only announce a venue after it is approved by the proper councils so there is no confusion.’
Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, has said the authority would do all it could to bring the slide to the city.
And she insisted organisers would be spoilt for choice for possible locations.
Councillor Jones said: ‘Southampton has many strengths, but Portsmouth is a better city steeped in history.
‘We have our own castle, the America’s Cup is coming here this summer and Portsmouth is one of the best cities in the country for hosting big, high-end events with big visitor numbers.
‘The city council is keen to work with the operations of the big slide. We are primed and ready.
‘This would add to the cultural offering in the city and give young people even more to do.
‘We will have a million people visiting the city with the America’s Cup and images of Portsmouth will be projected around the world.
‘This is a great opportunity for the operator to get the big slide in a city on the international stage.’
Cllr Jones added: ‘We have got loads of hills, we have got Portsdown Hill, we have got the old landfill site which is right by Port Solent.’
The News has set up a Facebook page for readers to show their support for the Portsmouth bid, share the page, and add suggestions of where the water slide could be put up in the city.
Anyone over the age of five will be able to use the slide, with the price starting at £10 for a single ride, £20 for three rides, and £35 for unlimited use of the slide for an hour before it opens, and an hour after it closes.
Inflatable tubes to ride on are provided, or riders can bring their own.