Historic Gosport buildings to be given a new lease of life in £400,000 revamp plan

Historic buildings in Gosport will be revamped in a bid to breathe new life into the town centre.

By Toby Paine
Friday, 10th December 2021, 4:55 pm

The six properties will get a share of £400,000 as part of the borough’s high street heritage action zone scheme - funded by Historic England.

The scheme aims to celebrate Gosport’s rich heritage while making it more attractive to shoppers, tourists and investors.

The former Royal Arms pub can be seen on Stoke Road with a characteristic wrought-iron and stained glass canopy that covers the pavement.

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The Royal Arms in Stoke Road, Gosport with its decorative iron works which doubled as a bus shelter, pictured in 1985. Picture: Fred York

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The rear of the pub is currently used as assisted accommodation for young people with disabilities - it is hoped that the front portion of the building will be developed into a café.

Ari Davis, owner of the former Royal Arms, said: ‘I'm extremely excited that this historic building, which means such a lot to the people of Gosport, will be restored to its former glory.’

The other five properties are either entirely vacant or being used as shops.

A charabanc bus sets off on an outing from the Royal Arms in Gosport in 1920

The grants will help current owners repair and improve the buildings to restore their original character.

Gosport Borough Council leader, Cllr Graham Burgess, said he’s delighted that the grants were awarded.

‘After months of careful planning we're looking forward to seeing the scaffolding go up and this work to restore the character of Gosport's historic centre begin in earnest.

‘We wish all the owners every success with their projects.’

The Royal Arms in Stoke Road closed in 2008

Clare Charlesworth, head of region for Historic England in London and the south-east, said: ‘This is a significant investment which will make a lasting difference to the look and feel of Stoke Road and North Cross Street.

‘It's great to have enthusiastic building owners on board that want to share in celebrating and enhancing Gosport's historic streetscape.’

Work on the six buildings is expected to start next spring.