Portsmouth City Council seeks to splash cash to boost prospects

The city council move is part of an investment programme worth around �23m
The city council move is part of an investment programme worth around �23m
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HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds is set to be spent breathing new life into shopping areas and the seafront in Portsmouth.

The move is part of an investment programme by the city council worth around £23m.

The Tory administration wants to set aside £500,000 to improve the city centre and use £100,000 to boost shopping districts like Cosham, North End and Fratton.

And a further £100,000 could be spent giving the seafront a facelift.

Exact details as to how the council would spend the money have not yet been revealed. The figures will go before the full council on February 10.

Councillor Luke Stubbs, Tory cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, said: ‘We have had to spend the majority of our capital funds on school places, but of what’s left, one of the priorities is the commercial development of the city.

‘We have also not forgotten about the shopping centres and we will also use a sum of money to boost the seafront.’

The money is from the council’s capital budget and is separate to its revenue accounts, where millions of pounds of savings have been made due to cutbacks in government funding.

It comes after the council revealed it will spend £16m on refurbishing schools to cope with an increase in pupil numbers.

Another £100,000 could go improving buildings in Fratton, which would boost the work already being done by Fratton Big Local to give the area a lift.

The council is also seeking to buy back the leases of a business site it owns in Hilsea and build new commercial space in order to take a better income and create more jobs.

Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader, said he did not have concerns about the proposed spending aside from having initial concerns about £150,000 going towards the New Theatre Royal project.

‘At first I took issue with the council giving the New Theatre Royal £150,000, but I was told that if it didn’t get that money, the whole project would fall down,’ he said.

‘I am particularly relieved this year’s capital budget is not earmarking money for the Pyramids, as we have already used huge amounts of money for that.

‘It’s important we use the stringent resources we have got to try and benefit the city and its people as best as we can.’