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Gosport Borough Council

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Plan to make the most of historic sites

12 June 2019


A major plan to preserve Gosport's unique military heritage and boost the borough's economy was launched yesterday.

It includes proposals for preserving a number of areas rich in history, enhancing them for residents and tourists, and using redundant sites to stimulate business growth and create jobs and training opportunities.

The Heritage Action Zone delivery plan was drawn up by Gosport Borough Council and Historic England.

As part of a five-year scheme, the ambition is to bring neglected buildings back into use as housing or shopping spaces, improve areas to kick-start regeneration, and increase awareness, understanding and appreciation of Gosport’s rich heritage.

Many former military sites in the borough are no longer needed for their original purposes and could deteriorate unless new uses are found for them.

At the same time, because Gosport is densely populated, there are few greenfield sites available for housing and employment.

Cllr Mark Hook, Leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: "Our borough has an incredibly rich concentration of military historic buildings, and we've been working hard to realise the potential of this heritage.

"This plan with Historic England means this work will be transformed. This is a massive opportunity to create imaginative new ways of using these buildings while preserving our heritage for the future.

"More people, residents and visitors, will know the stories of these sites and be encouraged to visit and enjoy them."

Emily Gee, Regional Director for Historic England in the South East, said: “Gosport has a rich and interesting military history that is woven into its buildings, streets and shoreline. We’re looking forward to working with Gosport Borough Council and local partners to build on the momentum of regeneration in the borough.”

A lot of the plan depends on attracting private and public investment. This would mean some former military sites could be sensitively developed and could provide new homes, businesses and community facilities.

Some of the ideas include trails and open spaces that will encourage people to keep fit by walking and cycling more.

The plan was officially signed this week by Claudia Kenyatta (Historic England), Chris Daniell (Defence Infrastructure Organisation), Dr Louis Murray (Gosport Society), Cllr Stephen Philpott (Gosport Borough Council) and Cllr Rob Humby (Hampshire County Council).

The scheme will be kick-started with an assessment of the Grade II listed Fort Rowner – a partially redundant military site that has the potential to be transformed into houses and offices.

Gosport is now one of 20 places to have been awarded Heritage Action Zone status by Historic England.

The Heritage Action Zone will pool the skills and resources of a number of partners to revitalise parts of Gosport. They include Gosport Borough Council, Historic England, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Hampshire County Council and the Gosport Society.