PORTSMOUTH Historic Dockyard pumps more than £110m into the area’s economy, The News can reveal.
The popular heritage attraction helps to prop up 2,750 jobs across the UK, a study by the University of Portsmouth’s business school has found.
It’s a very exciting time for us in PortsmouthProfessor Dominic Tweddle, director general of the NMRN
Today’s news comes as heritage bosses celebrated a record-breaking year, with more than 850,000 visitors packing into the maritime destination during the past 12 months.
Now, the head of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) – which runs the attraction – has outlined a bold vision for the city site to achieve one million visitors a year by 2020.
NMRN director general Professor Dominic Tweddle said: ‘Yes, it’s ambitious but I absolutely believe we can achieve it.
‘I would be bitterly disappointed if we couldn’t do it before 2020.’
The 21-page economic impact report was commissioned by the NMRN and produced by the city’s university.
Business boffins analysed all the different areas the dockyard contributed towards to work out the overall economic benefit of the venue.
As well as bringing in more than £110.4m to the Solent economy, the heritage venue also contributed £98.2m to the regional economy and £110.5m to the wider national one.
It pumps enough money into the economy to support 2,750 full-time jobs every year, the study added.
In a summary, the report said: ‘As an iconic and historical landmark, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard plays a key role in influencing the local region’s economic and social landscape.
‘Beyond the city of Portsmouth and the south coast, the dockyard has a national and global influence attracting visitors and media interest from all around the world.’
Since 2009 visitor numbers have skyrocketed from 350,000 to 850,000, following a take-over of the dockyard by the NMRN in 2014.
Prof Tweddle said the organisation would ‘not be complacent’ and had an exciting plan to help it hit the one million.
This includes a major overhaul of some of the site’s key attractions.
About £3m will be pumped into renovation projects for HMS Victory, with £1m being dished out to the upkeep of HMS Warrior, Prof Tweddle pledged.
All this comes ahead of plans to open a new, multi-million pound Royal Marines Museum in the dockyard in 2020, along with the site’s future Discovery Centre – packed full of never-before seen items.
‘It’s a very exciting time for us in Portsmouth,’ Prof Tweddle added.