Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the announcement that Gosport Borough Council is set to receive £18,117,915 from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

This money will transform Gosport’s historic waterfront, create space for skilled marine employment and reconnect the town centre to the waterfront. The projects include the renovation of the Rum Store, derelict Grade II listed building located in the heart of the historic waterfront, delivering new mixed-use space and public realm enhancements to the waterfront route between the town centre and the waterfront, increasing footfall between the areas and providing a new route connecting Gosport’s historic fortifications.

Ahead of the Autumn Statement, Caroline wrote to the Levelling Up Minister, Jacob Young MP, expressing her disappointment that Gosport was only one of two constituencies to not receive Levelling Up funding, despite its Priority 1 status. In the letter, she said:

“I think it is imperative that Gosport is prioritised when considering future Levelling Up funding. It is hugely disappointing that, whilst the Government has now recognised Gosport as a place deserving of support, it has not followed up with the desperately needed investment.”

Today the Minister announced that: “I am delighted to announce that Gosport Borough Council has been provisionally awarded up to £18,117,915 for project Reconnecting Historic Gosport Waterfront as part of the third round of the Fund. The provisional award of funding is for this specific project so the money cannot be used to support activity that is substantially different.”

Speaking after the news, Caroline said: “I am thrilled that Gosport has finally received the Levelling Up Funding is so desperately deserves to help reinvigorate our town, create jobs and attract visitors to our area and help realise our huge potential. I was delighted to support the Council’s Reconnecting Historic Gosport Waterfront project and look forward to working with them to move this forward.”

Commenting, Ben Mason, UK Docks said: “UK Docks Marine Services Ltd welcomes the fantastic opportunity to work with Gosport Borough Council on the project Reconnecting Historic Gosport Waterfront following the announcement of the council being provisionally awarded funding from the Governments Levelling Up Fund. The Rum Store is a wonderful ex-MoD Grade II Listed building located at Victoria Quay in Royal Clarence Yard that is steeped in history and which now has the chance to be repaired and regenerated to boost economic development in the area.

 This news has come at a critical point for the Rum Store building which couldn’t have been better timed as it will now unlock the full potential of Victoria Quay at Royal Clarence Yard as a focal point for marine services and business as well as enhancing the quality of life for those living in Gosport and its surrounding areas.”