PORTSMOUTH’S Historic Dockyard is gearing up for its biggest year ever – and is asking the people of the city to come and join the action.
Yesterday saw the heritage site launch a fresh appeal to get the people of Portsmouth to walk through its doors.
Other cities would salivate to have a site like this on their doorstepJacquie Shaw, Historic Dockyard
It comes as the dockyard prepares to launch its latest wave of attractions later this year, which staff hope will boost footfall to record highs.
Jacquie Shaw, dockyard PR manager, said there’s lots to be excited about.
‘This is possibly the most important year that we’ve ever had because of the amount of investment that has gone on here,’ she said.
‘In the last 18 months we have had something like £25m invested in the site.
‘Other cities would salivate to have a site like this on their doorstep.’
The drive for the upcoming season was launched inside the historic Lord Nelson’s Cabin, aboard HMS Victory.
The campaign is called #MakeTime and is urging people living in the city not to forget about the dockyard.
Among all the new sights on offer this year will be the opening of the Battle of Jutland exhibition at the end of the month.
The display has been a work in progress for months and will mark the 100th anniversary of the decisive First World War naval battle.
Also on the cards will be the re-opening of the Mary Rose Museum – which has undergone a major face-lift. It will hopefully open in summer.
And there’s the official opening of Boathouse 4 in June and Action Station’s Ninja Force assault course.
Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond is a trustee at Boathouse 4 and said: ‘This is crucial for the city. The dockyard is one of our main tourist attractions.’
Jacquie added: ‘This is an important year for us.
‘We have got 750,000 people coming to us which is the most we’ve ever had.
‘But we’re striving to hit the one million marker.
‘We just want to stress to the people of Portsmouth this is their dockyard.
‘It’s very easy when something is on your doorstep to take if for granted.’