Work on 'welcoming and inviting' memorial space in Portsmouth to begin

WORK to create a 'welcoming and inviting' memorial space in the city will begin after plans were approved by the council.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 4:43 pm
Updated Monday, 29th July 2019, 5:54 pm
Planning permission has been granted for the Guildhall memorial space. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

Flowers, trees and benches will line a transformed walkway to the First World War cenotaph and Second World War memorial in Guildhall Square, an area that was previously blocked by the former Drift in the City bar.

Following the demolition of the bar last year a design, which has just been given planning permission, to 'open up' the site was put forward.

Portsmouth City Council's culture boss Councillor Steve Pitt said: 'The new stone paving and flowerbeds with steps down to the cenotaph will make this a welcoming and inviting space, well suited to remembrance events.

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Planning permission has been granted for the Guildhall memorial space. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

'The design is also considerate to our elderly veterans with the inclusion of removable handrails that can be put in place when needed so that visitors can pay their respects on the day.

'I look forward to seeing construction start this month on this lovely new space in Portsmouth.'

The first phase of work will see the steps put in place ahead of Remembrance Sunday this year. Work will then pause during this time.

It is hoped the whole project will be completed ahead of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of VE Day next year.

Drift in the City bar before it was demolished last year. Picture: Fiona Callingham

Bronze plaques will also be added to the memorial to honour around 1,500 service personnel who died during the First World War.

The names will be coming from a database compiled by council officer Mr Daly. Suggestions for a name to be considered should be emailed to [email protected]