DETAILS of an initiative celebrating the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Collection have been unveiled ahead of a key debate over plans for a global Sherlock Holmes attraction.
Cultural leaders have put together a list of venues where they want activities to be held focusing on rare and imaginative items from the archive.
Much of the collection – made up of around 70,000 artefacts – was left to the city by world-renowned scholar Richard Lancelyn Green.
Portsmouth’s community centres, libraries, shopping centres and theatres could get involved in the project through 2017 and 2018.
Weekly groups for the elderly and vulnerable would be given the chance to find out more about the world of Sherlock Holmes.
The list of locations where activities promoting the collection could be held are The Kings Theatre, Paulsgrove Community Centre, John Pounds Centre, Portsmouth History Centre, Commercial Road, Palmerston Road, Cosham High Street, Fratton shops, North End, Somers Town hub, The Haven and the Central Library.
The hope is to boost the collection’s profile while pressing ahead with trying to clinch planning permission to create a world-class Sherlock visitor experience on land around the former Seafront Services Office on Avenue De Caen in Southsea.
Portsmouth Tory culture boss, Councillor Linda Symes, is to chair a Sherlock strategy meeting today where she will talk more about upcoming bids for lottery funding to fund a planning application.
Efforts is to be put into finding a major events operator to develop and operate a Mecca for Sherlock fanatics from around the world.
There is an extra impetus this year, as 2017 marks 130 years since the publication of the first Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, which was written in Portsmouth.
A report to be considered by Cllr Symes, written by Portsmouth’s director of culture and city development, Stephen Baily, said: ‘We know that the collection is internationally a unique gem, and we need to initiate this new development to unlock the commercial potential of the collection.’