Southsea’s Knight and Lee building could be transformed into a new business hub under fresh plans

PLANS to transform the Knight and Lee’s store in Southsea into a new workspace for entrepreneurs are to go on display.

Friday, 26th April 2019, 12:08 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 12:13 pm
The department store in the heart of Southsea, in Palmerston Road, will shut this year. The news was announced by owner John Lewis and partners in January. The exact date has not been confirmed.

In January the John Lewis Partnership revealed that Knight and Lee would be closing in July after more than 100 years trading in the city.

The building has now been bought by That Group, a property development company.

And following a round of public consultations earlier in the year, the firm has now revealed its new vision on how it will transform the building.

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The department store in the heart of Southsea, in Palmerston Road, will shut this year. The news was announced by owner John Lewis and partners in January. The exact date has not been confirmed.

The company aims to create a ‘This Workspace’ - a set of working offices that fledgling firms can rent as they look to grow their businesses.

The proposed development would be complete with meeting rooms and events space.

And That Group added it would come with ‘reactivated street frontages’ in Palmerston Road, including retail, restaurants and ‘pop-up’ stores.

Peter Tisdale, property director at That Group, said: ‘We are very encouraged by the

support and positive feedback we have received to date from the local community about our plans, which will deliver major new investment and jobs to this part of the town centre, while sensitively retaining and refurbishing this landmark building.’

The group will be staging a public exhibition event, to show off their revamped plans, on Monday.

It will take place at Southsea Library, in Palmerston Road, Southsea, between 4pm and 7pm.

Mr Tisdale added: ‘Our project team has been working very hard over the last few months to progress our regeneration plans, which will create a destination for local people to work, shop, sleep, meet, eat and drink.

‘However, before we submit our final plans to the council we wanted to hold another public exhibition to provide the opportunity for the local community to come along and view our near-final plans and to ask us any questions they may have.’

That Group said it would look to submit its final planning application to Portsmouth City Council towards the end of May or beginning of June.

Residents with questions on the company’s plans can call its dedicated hotline on 0800 298 7040 for free or see thatgroup-southsea.co.uk where the progressed plans will also be available to view after Monday.