Future High Streets

Portsmouth City Council has been granted some funding from the Government as part of the Future High Streets initiative. The Future High Streets fund aims to create an attractive, safe, and enjoyable place for people to meet, rest or spend time whilst they are in the city centre.

Where are the changes taking place?

The area we’re looking at runs from the top end of Commercial Road, where it meets Lake Road, down to Crasswell Street.

What are the changes?

The design aims to improve the public realm through the following strategies:

  • Improve connectivity
  • Incorporate play and movement
  • Contribute to the greening network
  • Support economic growth
Greening & Seating
  • Existing trees will be retained and underplanted in chosen locations. Four diseased trees that were recently removed from the area will be replaced in the same location
  • Six seats will be installed alongside the proposed planting around existing trees. The seating will match existing street furniture for a unified look throughout the precinct
  • Seven sculptural hardwood seats will be installed in one central location to provide a focal point where to meet and interact.
Play & Meet
  • We will enable dynamic play opportunities along the route to allow for young children to spend time in the high street with their parents
  • With the objective to provide rotating, spinning and climbing opportunities. A climbing frame, a spring rocker, an inclusive roundabout, and a small spinner will be installed
  • 101 square meters of floor graphic will be provided working with successful competition winner, local artist Angela Chick
  • Four cycle stands will be installed.
An artists impression of how more planting could look on Commercial Road

What is the Future High Streets Fund?

The aim of the Future High Streets Fund is to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that drives growth, improves experience and ensures future sustainability. It will do this by providing co-funding to successful applicants to support transformative and structural changes to overcome challenges in their area

An artists impression of how more benches and planting could look on commercial road

When will I see the changes?

The new seating, planting and activity areas will be installed in early 2024 and ready for people to use from next spring.

Commercial Road engagement event

On Saturday 18 March, we hosted a pop-up event in Commercial Road and teamed up with Aspex Gallery to understand your priorities for the city centre. We asked you, what kinds of improvements would you like to see to the north part of the high street, and you said:

  • Things for children to do
  • More seating
  • More plants and greenery
  • More colour and artwork

Next steps

Construction works will begin on Monday 8 January and are expected to finish by the end of March 2024. Changes will include new seating, more planting, interactive play equipment for children, new cycle stands, and a floor graphic that will be provided in collaboration with the Safer Streets team and local artist, Angela Chick, following a local competition.