Major high street brands can start moving into Portsmouth City Council's new retail park after the new build shop units were completed today.

Fully let business development Portsmouth Retail Park, in North Harbour, will bring in £1m per year for owners Portsmouth City Council in rents collected from international retail tenants including Decathlon, Subway and Costa. The money generated by the project can be spent on local services.

Portsmouth Retail Park's first tenants can now start fitting out their units at the brand new £16.2m facility, on Southampton Road, which has been custom built by the council's contractors Simons Groups. It's hoped that every unit will be open to the public in the next couple of months with the first units opening in the next few weeks.

Leader of the council Cllr Donna Jones said: "Our property investment strategy is all about generating money for the local services that are most important to local people so for us to be able to find the opportunity for such a strong investment so close to home is fantastic news for us and for the people of Portsmouth.

"The added bonus of Portsmouth Retail Park is that it will boost jobs and the local economy at the same time as bringing in £1m every year in rental income. This is money that will make a real difference at a time when councils continue to face funding challenges."

The council's Director of Regeneration Tristan Samuels said: "We're delighted that this significant development has been completed to such a high standard. We can now watch it thrive as it generates rental income for the people of Portsmouth."

The first tenants of the development, which has been built on empty land next to Tesco Extra, are:

-       Decathlon

-       Subway

-       Costa

-       Greggs

-       Pure Gym

-       Home Bargains

-       Jollyes pet superstore

-       Explore Learning

-       Quality Pet Care

Simons Group chief executive Tom Robinson said: “We’re very proud of this project and delighted to hand it over to Portsmouth City Council on time and within budget. We wish the council and all of the tenants much success for the future and hope this new addition to the city will be both profitable for stakeholders and an enjoyable experience for the residents of Portsmouth.”  

The handover of the Portsmouth Retail Park units comes only weeks after Portsmouth City Council was named the city's second best industrial dealmaker of the year by a global real estate media group.

The council's swift and successful leasing of another of its business developments - the new purpose-built manufacturing and industrial units it built in Limberline Spur, Hilsea Industrial Estate - put the council behind only property consultancy firm Vail Williams in terms of industrial deals completed in Portsmouth in the last 12 months, according to worldwide commercial publishing house CoStar.

And that prestigious industry recognition came just months after the council scooped two top awards at the South Coast Property Awards at the end of last year. Awards host and BBC presenter Jeremy Vine handed the council 'Business Park of the Year' and 'Real Estate Executive/Team of the Year' gongs for its new commercial development Dunsbury Park and for its property and investment team.

Portsmouth City Council is leading the way nationally in terms of property investment and Portsmouth Retail Park is the eleventh purchase in the council’s property investment portfolio which generates a total of £6.6m per year for council services. This commercial approach has meant the council has been able to mitigate the ongoing reductions in council spending and protect services that would otherwise be at risk. The extra money can be used to pay for things like libraries (£1.96m annual cost), museums (£759,900), weekly rubbish collections (£3.2m), community wardens (£148,800), homelessness services (£615,900) and school crossing patrols (£198,000).

Like all local authorities, the council is facing further reductions to the money it gets from the government. The council needs to make £12m of savings over the next three financial years from around £118m of net controllable spend. This is in addition to £94m of savings already made in the last seven years.

More property purchases are set to be made in the coming months generating even more money for local services.

For more information about the council's property investment strategy click here, search 'property investment strategy' on the council's website, call 023 9283 4954 or email

First tenants meet Leader of the council Cllr Donna Jones and cabinet members Cllr Luke Stubbs and Cllr Linda Symes.