REVEALED: Masterplan to pull more premier event promoters to Portsmouth

A MASTERPLAN has been unveiled to lure more world-class attractions to Portsmouth in a move that could see the region achieve '˜its full potential' and net the economy millions of pounds.

Saturday, 17th December 2016, 6:05 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:41 am
Last year's Victorious festival brought £5.8m to the local economy Picture: Ian Hargreaves

The News can reveal a ‘Portsmouth portfolio’ is being prepared for premier promoters pulling together all of the benefits of staging elite music, sport and leisure attractions, as leaders look to bolster the city’s profile and ensure it brings in millions of pounds.

Cultural bosses see the success of festivals Victorious and Mutiny, the America’s Cup World Series, and the presence of Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie in the city as the springboard to stardom.

Also key to the new 2017-2021 events strategy is the part residents can play – with communities being urged to hold their own events to bring streets together.

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The initiative has been backed by a whole host of officials responsible for staging some of Portsmouth’s finest events – and leaders say it could be key to securing a much-anticipated Sherlock Holmes attraction for the city.

Tory culture boss, Councillor Linda Symes, anticipates ‘many more millions’ could be generated.

Cllr Symes said: ‘We have to be a destination that people want to visit, and we are on our way to doing that.

‘We are looking at a Sherlock Holmes Museum; we are going to the Arts Council about getting this project off the ground. That will add another string to our bow.

‘It’s not just about the D-Day, navy or entertainment offer in our city.

‘We want to use all of our assets and sell ourselves across the whole community to create a buzz, and provide great entertainment for the people who come here, at affordable prices.

‘We want to build on the world-class events that are already staged here – when you look at the impact of just Victorious, it brought £5.8m to the economy last year.’

The council-led strategy says: ‘Hosting significant national and international events such as the America’s Cup World Series races and the Victorious Festival provides the authority, with the help of other partners, the opportunity to form a new Events Strategy to help achieve our ambition to be a global events destination and make Portsmouth a Great Waterfront City.

‘There are many extremely valuable events organised directly or indirectly by Portsmouth City Council, although it could be argued that the full potential of this type of activity has not been achieved. This strategy and vision, would bring a rational to events in Portsmouth and help us realise the potential benefits to both the city and the wider south-east Hampshire region.

‘It aims to capitalise and build on previous successes to deliver economic, social, sporting and cultural legacies for the city going forward.’

Mutiny Festival boss and Portsmouth Oktoberfest co-organiser, Luke Betts, said: ‘Where Portsmouth has been so dynamic and careful with their event strategy is that no two events are the same. Whether it be Mutiny, Victorious, the Summer Show, Oktoberfest, the America’s Cup, everyone has their own identity.

‘Portsmouth has become one of the strongest cities for events and music in the UK, firmly on the map right as a global player and I can see this continuing to grow.’

Victorious co-director, James Ralls, said: ‘I’m really happy to see PCC implementing an event strategy for the city.

‘The council has created an environment where Victorious Festival and other events have been able to flourish, and it would be great to see the same happening across the board to truly make Portsmouth a great city of events.

‘Victorious Festival alone has brought over £18m into the local economy over the last three years, and I totally support the ambition to have fully independent economic impact assessments for all major events so we can all see how much good they are doing for us as a city.’