An artists impression of how more planting could look on Commercial Road

The New Year will see changes to the north part of Commercial Road, between Lake Road, and Crasswell Street, as Portsmouth City Council starts the planned improvements as part of the Future High Streets government initiative.

Changes will include new seating, more planting, play equipment for children, new cycle stands, and a pavement graphic by local artist, Angela Chick, following a local competition in collaboration with the council safer streets programme.

Construction works will start on Monday 8 January and are expected to finish by the end of March 2024. During this time, there will be some restricted access to the area, although shops will remain open.

Councillor Steve Pitt, Leader of the Council with responsibility for culture, leisure, and economic development, said: “This is an important first step forward in making improvements to our city centre and a great way to start 2024. Our successful bid for Future High Streets funding means we can begin to create a more vibrant, welcoming and greener city centre for all to enjoy.”

The planned arrangements for this space aim to promote physical activity and recreation in the upper section of Commercial Road. Existing trees will be retained, and new beds will be planted underneath, whilst the trees removed earlier this year due to disease will also be replaced.

The project has scheduled continuous maintenance of the new equipment following completion, we will also be installing several CCTV cameras that have been provided by the safer streets fund to protect the new equipment and ensure a safer environment for visitors.

More information can be found at www.portsmouthcitycentre.co.uk/central/future-high-streets/