On 20 November 2023 Gosport Borough Council was awarded up to £18,117,915 for the project Reconnecting Historic Gosport Waterfront.
The funding will be used to create better connections and walking routes between Gosport town centre and the historic waterfront and to support the restoration and development of the former naval Rum Store at Royal Clarence Yard. This regeneration work will improve quality of life for Gosport residents and bring in more visitors and business, boosting social and economic prosperity. It will also help to create space for skilled marine employment and reconnect the town centre to the waterfront.
Renovation of the Rum Store
The project will see renovation works to the core structure of the Rum Store building, a derelict Grade II listed building, located in the heart of the historic waterfront. This will provide almost 7,000 sqm commercial mixed-use space.
Development of a waterfront route between the town centre and the historic waterfront. This project aims to increase footfall between the two areas of Gosport, and provide a new route connecting Gosport's historic sites. It is hoped that the new route will increase active travel in the borough.
Cllr Peter Chegwyn, Leader of the Council, said: "We're delighted at the outcome of our Levelling Up Fund bid. The Reconnecting Historic Gosport Waterfront project will help to drive the economy of the borough and create a place for local people to be proud of. It's also a great catalyst for wider redevelopment and regeneration in Gosport; this includes the redevelopment of the old bus station site and our plans for a new cinema and live entertainment venue in the former Criterion cinema. This £18 million will help bring new life into Gosport. "In addition to enabling us to make the most of the rich heritage and naval history in our borough, the regeneration of the Rum Store and waterfront route could create up to 200 new jobs, reduce antisocial behaviour and increase footfall between the sites.