Portsmouth council gives green light to America's Cup plan

THE city council has approved this year's plans for the America's Cup World Series.

Friday, 18th March 2016, 1:19 pm
Updated Friday, 18th March 2016, 4:14 pm
Castle Field will be used for this summer's America's Cup World Series

Councillors sitting on the authority’s culture, leisure and sport committee green-lit the proposals by event organisers Team Origin.

At this year’s three-day spectacle, taking place between July 22 and 24, Southsea Common will be a free-to-view area with no restrictions, where anyone can turn up and bring picnics to enjoy the action in the Solent.

This size of the separate ticketed ‘Race Village’ area will be larger than the 2015 regatta’s one, covering Castle Field, Southsea Skatepark and the Bandstand – as well as Castle Hill.

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Concerns had been raised by councillor Lee Hunt and other local residents about incorporating Castle Hill within the ticketed area.

Cllr Hunt urged the committee to keep this section as a free place for the public to view the spectacle from.

However, councillor Linda Symes, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport rejected his plea.

She told the committee that last year a number of safety concerns had been raised by police and the RNLI over spectators massing at the site.

Explaining the decision, the leisure boss said: ‘Due to the event’s popularity it’s vital that public safety is handled effectively, which is why the castle ramparts are now withing the race village and can be managed by event staff.’

She added the cup was a ‘unique opportunity to show the city on an international stage’.