We’ve been a bit behind with posting up the details of this when it first went up but if you’ve missed it so far there is still time to have your say about the ARTches proposed changes to the Hotwalls area around the Round Tower.
The plans for the development of ARTches have been in the works for some years and were first put in to action with the initial repair and development of the Round Tower into an exhibition space, with the Strong Island Round Tower exhibition in 2011 the first practical use of the tower for decades. The arches themselves have been home to local art fairs and stalls for many, many years too but this complete proposal aims to bring all of the usable spaces together as a whole, with exhibition spaces, artist studios, retail plus food and drink all working to make this location (with the highest recorded foot fall in the whole of the city) a real tourist destination as well as a location to foster and develop local arts and crafts.
The space itself is a scheduled monument and English Heritage have shown support for the development and with the plan to create a not for profit business any profits from the retail side would help subsidise the studio spaces available it sounds pretty great to me.
The consultation runs until the 7th and you can quickly and easily have your say with an online survey.
Visit the Portsmouth City Council website page HERE for more details and documents on the proposal.
This is something the seafront (and Southsea as a whole) has needed for a long time. Really glad to see that despite the climate, this might be a possibility. Hope everyone gets behind it…
The round tower expo was great, but I have rarely seen it open since then to keep the art being exhibited. This has the usual trademarks of the PCC. When they are in the middle of drastic cuts, they come up with something this. It needs transport, parking etc to be thought about and when the return on investment does not appear ,it will be open shop for commercial ventures. Much as I support the arts in Portsmouth, I think a few more expos in the round tower to gauge reaction would be a better solution.
What it needed was a dedicated member of staff to curate, manage and promote upcoming exhibitions but that never happened sadly. I’m guessing this would allow funding for a position to do that. Parking might be okay with the Camber carpark and many people, going by our exhibition, pass through along the millennium walk even in winter so it might not be to bad. I imagine the locals will be worried about the brasserie selling booze and opening hours…which is fair enough, but I can see that helping fund the project all year round.