Record-breaking numbers attend Shaping Portsmouth event
'WE LIVE in an amazing, one of a kind city' - that was the message shared by attendees of the record-breaking Shaping Portsmouth conference on Friday.
Businesses, charities, council services and voluntary organisations gathered at the Portsmouth Guildhall to both celebrate their achievements and share new ideas that put the city's interests first.
Director of Shaping Portsmouth, Stef Nienaltowski, was proud to see more people than ever attend. 'In just two years this event has grown from about 170 people to 370, with the number of businesses close to 200,' he said.
'I don't know any other event or organisation in the city that can galvanise that level of interest and support.
'It's apolitical. We've had the Conservative MP and Labour MP as well as the Lib Dem council leader here, all interested in what best serves the city.'
Promoting Portsmouth as a unique waterfront and historical city was a priority for many, with a blueprint plan laid out by The Mary Rose Trust's Helen Bonser-Wilton to boost tourism in 2019.
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason, said: 'It's important to remember how unique Portsmouth is. We have so much history and we have multiple national museums. I think it's the only city outside of London to have that.
'Today has been very positive and a great way to showcase the city. Hearing what everyone has had to say really proves how Shaping Portsmouth is already making a difference.'
The event also gave groups the chance to network.
Cllr Suzy Horton added: 'I have always said that there's a massive will to help in this city.
'But sometimes it is the case that people don't always know how to help.’