28 October 2021
Portsmouth International Port’s crucial terminal transformation will officially get underway after an announcement by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities that the scheme has been awarded £11.25m Levelling Up Funding.
The port was part of a successful £20m bid called Transforming the Visitor Economy, which also includes funding for Hilsea Lido and the creation of the UK’s longest urban park ‘Linear Park’ in the north of the city.
The port development, known as The International Terminal Transformation, is necessary to manage the anticipated increase in passengers through the port, which looks to exceed over 200 calls across the next three years.
The port’s ability to manage to manage an additional 250,000 passengers a year, above its current two million, relies on creating additional capacity.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “This is fantastic news for the city and I’d like to thank the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for recognising the importance of this bid.
“The success of the port will be transformational for the city, providing employment opportunities and complementing the offer as the UK’s leading marine and maritime region.
“This successful Levelling Up Fund announcement means we can get work underway to deliver a spectacular new terminal extension ready by spring 2023.
“The port’s location, neighbouring Gosport, creates significant partnerships for travel and also maximises the city’s and town’s heritage assets for visitors.”
Mike Sellers Portsmouth International Port’s director said: “We’re delighted the government has recognised our extension plans are necessary for the port to handle an increase in trade, and provide a significant financial return for the local area.
“This year, for example, with the arrival of Virgin Voyages we were required to provide temporary additional facilities to ensure secure passenger segregation as part of Covid protections.
“But we need a permanent base.
“Our rise in passengers is a result of responding to growth in the cruise and ferry industry, which the port is ideally positioned to deliver thanks to its enviable waterfront location.
“Following our recently completed berth extension, we are now in advanced discussions with companies new to the UK market, to agree a partnership with the port and our expansion plans are critical to meet market demand.”
Portsmouth appeals to the small and mid size, luxury, boutique, expedition cruise sector who are looking for a port that sets them apart from the conventional mass market. The port is competing with European destinations and has an opportunity to secure additional revenue for UK GDP, with each cruise call anticipated to generate up to £1.5 million to the region’s economy.
The transformation will be cutting-edge in environmental development, complementing the current sustainably built terminal building.
The creation of the longest urban Linear Park in the UK, connects the west of the city to the eastern edge, with enhanced cycling and walking facilities providing a tourist offer that is local, national and international.
Plans are at an advanced stage organised to deliver a shovel-ready project.