Portsmouth is having an identity crisis – Student Shout

Commercial Road, Portsmouth
Commercial Road, Portsmouth

I am a student in the city and have spent a lot of my life in the Portsmouth area. 

And I have come to the conclusion that this seaside location is in dire need of a revamp. The Portsmouth area lacks diversity, uniqueness and a sense of individuality. Fashion and music in Portsmouth is very limited, with in recent years even more independent clothing stores and music venues closing down. 

The city’s one saving grace is Southsea.

The beach, the common, and a handful of streets such as Albert Road and Castle Road are what keeps this area alive.

This is because these parts of Portsmouth are different. They are not covered with the same huge corporations that swamp the whole of England.

Seriously, how many Greggs and Subways does Portsmouth need?

I'm not expecting the council to close down these types of places, it would leave hundreds of people jobless.

Instead, I simply wish Portsmouth would encourage a sense of distinctiveness and allow independent stores to flourish. 

 Not every young person is excited and intrigued by the same generic chain clubs that Guildhall Walk has to offer. Nor do we wish to buy all our clothing from the same shops (in every city) that Commercial Road provides.

One of Portsmouth’s oldest nightclubs, Scandals, closed down in 2016. This alternative music spot was a huge hit with a range of people. It’s now apartments.

Portsmouth’s alternative music scene is becoming even less prominent.

When you travel to places like Brighton and Bristol you are enveloped into a world of striking identity and opportunity. There are different genres of music and styles of fashion. 

Why can't we put Portsmouth on the map as a city that is eccentric and exciting?

By Phoebe Halford-Barden studies journalism at the University of Portsmouth