Artches can become focal point and a tourism draw

Mention the Hot Walls to most people in Portsmouth and they will instantly think of summer days spent soaking up the rays.

Saturday, 13th February 2016, 6:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 7:39 am

After all, they got their name because that part of the seafront is renowned as a real suntrap.

But on the other side of the wall from the water and promenade is another feature that should be equally as well-known.

The historic brick arches at Point Battery have been an untapped resource for many years, a quirky feature but adding very little to the life of the city.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

So it is exciting to report today that work is speeding ahead to transform this part of Old Portsmouth into Artches, a thriving arts and crafts quarter.

Anybody who has been to Brighton will know how the arches there have been transformed to become a living, breathing part of the seafront landscape.

Now we can look forward to our Hot Walls arches becoming 13 studios for artists to showcase their colourful work.

Come the summer and we will have another attraction to draw people to spend time on the seafront, rather than heading straight for Gunwharf or the Historic Dockyard.

We think it’s going to be a great area to visit and enjoy something to eat and drink at a new deli-style cafe.

Called The Canteen, it is to be run by Lucy and Bill Branson of the highly-regarded Tenth Hole Tearooms in Southsea.

As Lucy says, this end of the seafront has been in need of attention for quite some time.

Now at last it is being regenerated.

We look forward to it becoming a real focal point for art as well as an important addition to the city’s old-and-new tourism mix.