It was the dawn of a new era – the beginning of a renaissance that would see Portsmouth Harbour transformed and revitalised for the 21st century.
The historic site was being reshaped and rebranded to make Portsmouth Harbour an unrivalled mix of leisure and industry, spelling boom times for the area and creating a tourism hotspot on the same scale as Sydney.
A landmark tower, a prestigious shopping and leisure complex, world-famous tourist attractions and waterfront developments had all boosted confidence and created a sense of optimism.
Council leader Ian Gibson said: ‘We could be the Sydney of the northern hemisphere. We have a world-class harbour and the tower will be a distinctive landmark.’