As work to transform the basement of Portsmouth Guildhall into an exciting, new creative space for young people begins, The Guildhall Trust is delighted to announce that a pilot programme of music making activities that will transfer to the new space once completed is to be funded by national charity, Youth Music called The Base.

The creative space to be called The Base, will be a safe and welcoming space for young people aged 11-25, providing access to a band rehearsal room with backline equipment, a studio with a DJ mixing space, an AV suite with specialist software, a performance space and a lounge/exhibition area. The £1.3million project, which will also see the Guildhall’s main toilet facilities replaced, is set to open in Spring 2024.

The £28,857 Trailblazer fund from Youth Music will support the creation of a Youth Advisory Group, that will give young people the platform to inform the development and creation of The Base throughout the build and a programme of activities that will be tested for their feasibility, scalability and how they are received by young people.

Inspiring young people to take up a new hobby, take part in holiday activities or take the next steps on a career in music, the pilot programme will include a mix of activities that will be FREE to access ranging from songwriting and DJing to live video editing and mural painting with the chance to create wall murals, stage scratch nights and more.

A range of creative courses and one-off masterclasses will also be delivered by artists and musicians from Portsmouth and the South Coast who are building national and international careers, giving young people the opportunity to learn and collaborate and get 1:1 feedback from industry professionals.      

Youth Arts Coordinator for The Base, Jaz Manville said, “It is really exciting to see the building works start and The Base starting to take shape! We have been consulting with young people since the inception of this project but we’re now taking this a step further with the formation of The BASEpanel advisory group. It is so important that young people have a voice and that the space and programme we develop is what they want to use and see. I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas and shaping the pilot programme with them.”  

Youth Music is funded by National Lottery via Arts Council England and players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The national charity invests in grassroots projects that are making music more inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible.

Matt Griffiths, Youth Music CEO says, “It’s crucial we enable more young people to make, learn and earn in music, whatever their background or goal. That’s why we’re excited to invest in innovative organisations like The Guildhall Trust, who are putting young people’s voices and needs front and centre.”

Post pandemic it is widely reported that young people have become more disengaged and isolated with one in four suffering heightened anxiety and poor mental health. The Base will remove barriers to engagement and offer a nurturing environment for all, including students and young people from low-income families and under-represented groups, providing a much-needed facility within the community.

Young people aged 13-21 who are interested in joining the BASEpanel and impacting the foundation of youth music in Portsmouth are encouraged to get in touch now ahead of the group’s launch and first meeting in the next few weeks.

The pilot programme of activities is set to run from February – April 2024 and young people interested should sign up now for The Base newsletter and follow The Base on social media to be the first to hear more.


You can find out more and follow the progress of The Base at: