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.