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Transformation of former military barracks in Old Portsmouth, into 13 creative studios alongside a deli-style eaterie is complete, and opened in July 2016.

Dating back to the 15th Century, Hotwalls Studios were previously artillery barracks. Creatively bringing this historic site back to life has been the aim of the £1.75m development from the government's coastal communities fund, and an additional £40k from PUSH and £100K from the council, which has secured the future of this historic monument.

The 13 studios have been created for both new and established artists and offer competitive rates, an enviable position in the heart of Old Portsmouth, and nearby eaterie The Canteen.

The studios can be used from 7am - 11pm and are available from three months up to three years leases. They vary in size and there is an opportunity to share spaces.

With completely glazed fronts, the studios aren't for shy and retiring types as it is expected the new creative quarter will attract visitors to the area. Artists are also able to sell direct to customers from their studios.

In 2011 the Seafront Strategy set out the idea of transforming the area adjacent to the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth into a vibrant arts and crafts quarter.

This principle was established within the Seafront Masterplan which, following extensive public consultation in 2012, was adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document by the council's Cabinet.  The Seafront masterplan supplements Policy PCS9 (the Seafront) of the Portsmouth Plan, setting out how this policy will be implemented.

The ARTches project aimed to convert the vacant arches into artist studio spaces and breathe new life into these historic structures. The project will create new jobs and opportunities to visually enhance the area, as well as supporting emerging creative industries. Artists who take up one of the new studios will enjoy a unique opportunity to show-case their work to the public and will also benefit from the potential for exhibitions in the recently refurbished Round Tower.

The site will be managed by the city council but in the longer term we aim to introduce a different management model involving tenants and other creative organisations in the city.  We also hope to have a brasserie offer at the site to cross-subsidise the artist studios so that they can be offered at a lower rent for new start-up businesses.

Planning permission, listed building and scheduled monument consents have been granted for the ARTches scheme.

Consultation was carried during the design of the scheme in July and August 2013. A summary of responses to this consultation can be found below.

More information about the project is contained in the documents below, including a set of frequently asked questions compiled in response to issues raised by some residents, and a briefing paper which provides a useful overview.

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