Orchard Park Regeneration Project to provide Portsmouth basketball court hits milestone

A PROJECT to give a basketball court in Fratton a £50,000 makeover has reached a crucial milestone – and is now looking to the city’s children to inspire a world-class artwork stretching across the court.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 11:59 am
£30,000-worth of improvement works are set to transform the court starting in mid July. 
Picture: Sam Stephenson
£30,000-worth of improvement works are set to transform the court starting in mid July. Picture: Sam Stephenson

The Orchard Park Regeneration Project, created by local basketball coaches, artists, and community activists, has raised more than £30,000 in just over two months to completely transform the court near Goldsmith Avenue.

The regeneration work is set to begin in mid-July, with a complete re-surfacing of the court and new fencing, backboards, and line markings, as well as a display showcasing Portsmouth’s basketball heritage,

Now the project is aiming to raise a further £20,000 to create a spectacular mural across the court’s surface – and children can submit their designs to inspire the finished artwork.

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The Orchard Park project is seeking to rejuvenate the run-down basketball court and its surroundings, making it a community-minded hub for street art and basketball. Picture: Sam Stephenson

The entries will be judged by celebrated international artist and illustrator Hattie Stewart, who will use the artworks as inspiration for her final design for the court.

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Annabel Innes, a co-founder of the project, said: ‘It feels absolutely fantastic to reach the phase one fundraising target.

'It means we can do the really significant work, and now we can focus on the real ‘wow’ factor.

‘The artwork would put us in quite an elite league of cities who have transformed inner city courts. It would massively raise the profile of basketball in Portsmouth.’

The artwork will be applied by a professional production team Absolutely Studio with a life expectancy of up to 10 years.⁣

Colouring-in sheets are available by contacting the project through it’s Crowdfunder page, with sheets sent to schools across the city.

More than 220 supporters have so far contributed to the ambitious project, with generous patrons claiming a variety of thank-you gifts – ranging from limited edition basketballs to VIP Victorious Festival packages – via the project’s Crowdfunder page.

Further works will see the improvements to existing flower beds and the installation of new freestanding planters designed by Portsmouth-based gardening company Garden Angels.

Coaching sessions and tournaments are also planned for the revamped sports site.

Anyone wishing to donate to the project can do so at crowdfunder.co.uk/orchard-park-artwork

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