UTC Portsmouth gets Ministerial funding approval

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Portsmouth's University Technical College (UTC) took another positive step forward this week with the announcement that the Secretary of State for Education has agreed to enter into the Funding Agreement for UTC Portsmouth.

This was received from the Minister for Skills, Nick Boles MP. This is another essential milestone for the project following last week's conditional planning approval for the £10m new school building.

The Funding Agreement is a vital step in the process to make the school a reality which started with the bid in September 2014 followed by the public consultation and submission of an education brief detailing plans for the school and its curriculum.

The Funding Agreement means that UTC Portsmouth can now enter into construction contracts with BAM to build the UTC and it also commits funding the ongoing running costs of UTC Portsmouth.

Cllr Neill Young Cabinet Member for Education, Portsmouth City Council said: "This is excellent news and it's now all systems go for UTC Portsmouth. Building should start in July, pupil admissions will open this September and the school will be open in September 2017. We look forward to seeing this exciting vision of a new model of education take shape to the benefit of the city and the wider Solent region."

Led by University of Portsmouth, the Royal Navy, Salterns Academy Trust and Portsmouth City Council, UTC Portsmouth will be built in the grounds of Trafalgar School in Hilsea. UTC Portsmouth will start taking applications for admission from across the Solent region in September 2016 for year 10 and year 12 students.

It will specialise in electrical and mechanical engineering and advanced manufacturing. UTC Portsmouth will offer an engineering curriculum alongside the core GCSE subjects in years 10 and 11 and a range of options including Level 3 engineering diplomas and A Levels in years 12 and 13.

Admissions for Year 10 and Year 12 students open in September 2016 visit the website for more information and to register your interest.


World premiere production free on the Big Screen

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The Royal Ballet's new production of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein will be showing live on the Big Screen in Guildhall Square next Wednesday, 18 May.

Haunting and dramatic, the production will be screened direct from The Royal Opera House in London from 7pm.

This world premiere production includes a dramatic new score and grand gothic sets, as the classic novel is turned into a full-length story ballet by artist-in-residence Liam Scarlett, one of the hottest young choreography talents in the ballet world today. Steering away from the horror stereotypes associated with the title, Scarlett penetrates to the heart and soul of the drama and presents a tale ultimately about love.

Whether you're a connoisseur or a newcomer to ballet it is a great chance to watch a world-class ballet performed live for free.

Limited seating will be provided on a first come first served basis but spectators can bring blankets and refreshments to have a picnic and keep warm. Free event programmes will be available on the night.

The Big Screen Portsmouth will be joining Big Screens across the UK for two more live relays direct from the Royal Opera House this summer as part of the BP Big Screens 2016 programme. These will be operas from Giuseppe Verdi: Nabucco and Il Trovatore.

For more information on the BP Big Screens visit


Fostering free entry to the Emirates Spinnaker Tower

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Emirates Spinnaker Tower web

If you've been thinking about fostering, now is the time to care at the Emirates Spinnaker Tower on Wednesday 25 May, 7pm - 9pm.

Entry to the tower on the evening is completely free, there is no need to book and anyone considering becoming a foster carer can simply come along to find out how to help children and young people who need a safe, stable environment while difficulties at home are addressed. You will have the opportunity to chat to current foster carers and social workers, have all your questions answered, and find out how to make a difference to a young person's life.

There are a number of fostering opportunities available for children of all ages, ranging from fostering full or part-time, to fostering whilst continuing to work outside the home, with all options offering competitive allowances and fees, fantastic training and support. For those who are employed full-time, if you can offer a spare room, and around 10 hours of support per week to a young person aged 16 to 24 to assist them with things like job applications and cooking skills, our new scheme Lodgings Plus may provide an ideal fostering option for you.

Portsmouth City Council welcomes potential foster carers from all backgrounds, whatever your age, experience, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, marital or employment status, whether single or part of a couple, and whether you own or rent your own home.

Councillor Neill Young, Cabinet member for Children and Education at Portsmouth City Council, said "We are looking for foster carers who can provide stability and care for children and young people, and especially teenagers, who need a range of periods of care from short to longer term placements. I would urge anyone interested in fostering to come along to the event at the tower and find out more."
For further information about fostering in general, please visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 02392 834 071 for a chat to one of the team.


Young Community Activist Receives Grant

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IMG 4127-300x200At just 14 years old, Bajabulile Bhebhe has been granted £500 to get his ‘Hangout Hub’ project up and running.

The Hangout Hub is a relaxed space for young people in the Southampton area to complete school work in a social environment with other young people around. The project hopes to tackle social isolation which is an increasing problem in teenagers with them spending more time at home than out and about.

The £500 grant is part of the ‘Do It For Real’ grants scheme funded by UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs, and is delivered by local partners including Unloc.

Want to get involved and raise £500 to start your own social project? If you are aged under 30 and would like to test out a project that has a social or community benefit, please click here for more information.


Royal Navy welcomes the return of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series to Portsmouth this summer

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Following the success of last year's inaugural Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth, the Royal Navy is once again providing services and support as an Official Stakeholder to ensure this July's four-day spectacular in Portsmouth is even bigger and better in 2016.

Sir Keith Mills, Chairman of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth, is delighted to have secured the backing of the Royal Navy for the second year, with this summer's regatta taking place from 21st to 24th July.

"Ever since our meeting two years ago with the then First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, and Naval Base Commander Commodore Jeremy Rigby, we have enjoyed the utmost commitment and support from the Royal Navy," said Sir Keith. "We are proud to be able to call the Royal Navy an Official Stakeholder of this year's event. It would be difficult to think of anywhere in Great Britain that has a stronger affiliation with the maritime world than Portsmouth, and it is very important for the international teams to have access to the city's naval dockyard within Her Majesty's Naval Base in Portsmouth."

Sir Keith says the partnership between the Royal Navy and the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series – Portsmouth is a natural fit for many reasons.

"We share similar goals, passions and synergies across a number of key areas - maritime history, marine development, supporting innovation and technologies for the future, and contributing to significant business opportunities in Portsmouth. Through our close association with the 1851 Trust, we are creating many maritime career and apprenticeship opportunities for young people in the area."

Royal Navy webHMS Bulw​ark and ​Land Rov​er BAR o​n the So​lent © Rick To​mlinson

Commodore Jeremy Rigby, Commander of HM Naval Base Portsmouth, is looking forward to welcoming the international teams back for a second year.

"Great Britain is a maritime nation and the Royal Navy continues to be at the heart of protecting and promoting our prosperity on the high seas. We are doing everything we can to help facilitate this exciting maritime competition in the spiritual home of the Royal Navy, noting the huge benefits it brings to the UK, and to Portsmouth in particular."

As well as providing berthing and technical facilities on site, the Royal Navy's Queen's Harbour Master is instrumental in clearing a safe race course for the event, which last year attracted thousands of spectator vessels. The technologically advanced, carbon-fibre AC45 catamarans are capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. It's the kind of marine technology that is well appreciated and understood in Portsmouth, which for more than 400 years has been a centre of maritime innovation for the Royal Navy.

With the six international crews travelling at such high speeds in close proximity to the shore, the need for careful stewardship of the race course is vital. The event is well served by a large number of Royal Navy vessels, not least the frigate HMS Kent, whose 436ft presence will act as official Guard Ship.

Planning for both the maritime and onshore activities for this major event is focused on the safety of competitors, spectators and other water users. Clearly marked race marshals, safety craft, police boats and QHM craft will be on hand to safely shepherd non-participants away from the high-speed yachts in the racing area.

The Queen's Harbour master is urging visitors to familiarise themselves with the marine traffic restrictions set in place for the busy periods that the large high-tech catamarans will be in operation, racing or transiting in and out of Portsmouth harbour. Aiming to minimise the disruption to other boat users and scheduled ferry services within the channels, the Queen's Harbour Master will issue a detailed Notice to Mariners on their website to advise all mariners of traffic and anchoring restrictions in place. Detailed, updated information will be published at regular intervals, taking account of the prevailing wind and weather forecasts that will influence the arrangements for marine traffic management.

Leslie Greenhalgh, Event Director of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth concluded:

"As we saw last year, the support we have received from the Royal Navy is fundamental to the successful hosting of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth. This is a wonderful opportunity to display the tremendous maritime and naval heritage of the city. I'd like to thank the hard-working team in the Naval Base, for giving their time and energy. The event offers 'something for everyone' and we encourage fans from around Britain to visit Portsmouth and support Land Rover BAR on home waters and experience the spectacle of the America's Cup."

There will also be Royal Navy presence in the official ticketed Race Village in Southsea with spectators both young and old able to meet Royal Navy service staff and take a look around offshore craft and vehicles while the more active fans can take on the Royal Marine Climbing Wall Challenge For tickets:

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