Portsmouth City Council have bought the Bridge Centre in Fratton to unlock new opportunities for businesses and residents. This purchase is a key part of the council’s long-term regeneration plans for the city’s high streets and was made possible by a grant from the Future High Streets Fund.
The Bridge Centre will continue to operate as a local shopping centre while the council works closely with businesses in the centre and wider community to deliver change in the area through improvements to the high street, road network, pedestrian routes, and cycleways, as well as investing in new homes and employment opportunities.
Responding to local community feedback, the council is planning a mixed-use enterprise centre of small offices and co-working spaces on the ground floor of the Bridge Centre, when a suitable space becomes available. This enterprise centre will follow the model established by the council’s other enterprise centres to provide low-cost facilities and business support for local start-ups, small businesses, and community initiatives.
The council will also continue to work to get more Bridge Centre businesses involved with community events that boost trade to Fratton Road such as the Fratton family festival and lantern parade.
Cllr Steve Pitt, Leader of Portsmouth City Council with responsibility for economic development and culture said:
“We’ve listened to the views of residents and businesses in Fratton and know that people want to see the area revitalised with improved public spaces and shops, homes and job opportunities that suit how we live and work now.”
‘The Bridge Centre is a strategic, long-term investment for the council. We will work with the businesses that are based there now, while also working to develop plans that look to the future.’
Through improvements to the high street and investment in new homes, flexible commercial space and community facilities, we can support changes in Fratton that will make it a cleaner, greener and safer place for everyone.”
The former owner of the Bridge Centre, ASDA, will continue to operate its superstore in Fratton and to support the revitalisation of the area.
The council is also working closely with private developers who are proposing new schemes for the area to ensure that regeneration projects work together to create positive changes for people who live and work in Fratton. Residents and businesses will be invited to share their ideas and views as plans develop.
The council has also been awarded funding from the Future High Street Fund to make improvements to the north end of Portsmouth’s city centre with new seating, more greenery and inclusive play equipment for children.