City car parks receive 'People' Parking' accreditation

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Alan Cufley and Helen Dolphin webFourteen of the city's car parks have been awarded People's Parking accreditation - a scheme which aims to improve parking for customers by enabling them to find a car park which specifically meets their needs.

People’s Parking highlights to customers which car parks have facilities for disabled people, parents with children, people who drive electric vehicles and those who drive commercial vehicles/camper vans or drive from wheelchair accessible vehicles.

You can search online via and see which car parks have the facilities you need.

People's Parking also aims to drive up standards in the parking industry as all car parks will need to demonstrate that they have good signage and pedestrian routes, are well lit, clean and actively managed.

The council applied for the accreditation and fourteen car parks will display a People's Parking accreditation sign.

Helen Dolphin MBE who launched the People's Parking scheme at the beginning of the year said: "Portsmouth is the first local authority that I have presented with their accreditation and I hope other local authorities will follow suit. Our accreditation takes into account many factors including how clean the car park is, how good the pedestrian access is and how well managed it is. We're also looking to expand the scheme in the future to include cycle parking and pay by phone facilities."

Alan Cufley Director for Transport, Environment and Business Support at Portsmouth City Council said: "We're pleased to receive this accreditation across fourteen of our car parks - it's recognition of how well managed and accessible they are. We're looking to expand the number of accredited car parks and we'd encourage other local authorities to follow our lead and obtain this valuable accreditation."


The University of Portsmouth is the new home of Express FM

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The University of Portsmouth is to be the new home of a community radio station, which celebrates life in south-east Hampshire 24 hours a day.

Express FM will soon be broadcast from the University’s Eldon Building, meaning the station can work even more closely with the University, with which it already has strong links.

The station was formerly located in Highbury College on Arundel Street. It is now moving to the Eldon Building west wing, a £14m beacon for the arts, which is home to the University’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries.

Dean of the Faculty, Professor Catherine Harper, said: “It is wonderful to have a live broadcast operation on campus, which will offer our students and staff professional engagement with the media. Embedding a radio station in our institution provides an excellent opportunity for students to take part in career-enhancing activities, which is a key part of our new strategy.

"We’re also delighted that Express FM’s work with Highbury College students will continue, which means we’ll be co-locating different types of students. There is so much exciting research happening at the University – from cosmology to sports bra technology – it is important we are known in our own back yard. I think this partnership is a brilliant way to showcase even further the fantastic work the University is doing.”​

Express FM is one of the longest-running community stations in the UK and has just been granted its third five-year licence. Its mission is to showcase talent, celebrate success, raise aspirations and give local people a voice. The station broadcasts 45 different shows a week, which are hosted in the main by volunteers.

Express, a not for profit organisation, also runs a wide range of training programmes, designed not only to give people of all ages the skills required to make great radio, but also experiences that make them more employable in whatever career they may choose.

Station director and founder Cheryl Buggy said: “Having started our life at the University's Wiltshire Building, it’s great to be back beginning our 10th year in the prestigious Eldon Building. We have fantastic new studios, and look forward to bringing the Portsmouth community in to be part of such a great and creative multi-media environment."

The station is supported by the University, Highbury College, the Southern Cooperatives and Portsmouth College.


The Urban Vocal Group secures new Artist Development funding

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The Urban Vocal Group is delighted to announce that it has been provisionally offered a grant of £14,600 from Arts Council England towards a new artist development programme. ‘Breaking Through’ is a platform of activities designed to support emerging talent through collaboration with established artists and industry professionals, enabling them to write, record, perform and promote their own music.
This is an exciting project for the UVG who have been providing free music making opportunities to young people aged 11 – 18 since 2008.

Several local artists started their music career at The UVG and ‘Breaking Through’ will enable a new generation to develop their talent and gain invaluable knowledge and experience of the industry; helping them set up as professional artists.
It is hoped that the new material and subsequent performances will further enhance the musical profile of the Portsmouth area.


Engineering graduates see 'The Hard' work

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The Hard Interchange - View 2 LO RES

Graduate engineers from across the country are visiting a multi-million pound construction scheme at The Hard interchange in Portsmouth on Tuesday 19 April.

Creating a new transport interchange is the first step in a vision to regenerate the area around The Hard which is located between the world-famous Historic Dockyard and Gunwharf Quays. It will set the benchmark for the area and the tone for an impressive new gateway to Portsmouth.

The new interchange will better link buses, trains and ferries; make the site easier to navigate; enable pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles to share the space more safely; and make the area look more welcoming.

19 graduate engineers from construction company Osborne, who are the contractors for the scheme, will visit the Emirates Spinnaker Tower to hear more about the scheme with an impressive view of the construction site. They will then go on site to see how work has progressed since it started last autumn.

The busy transport interchange is used daily by people accessing buses, trains and ferries to the Isle of Wight and Gosport. While the work is taking place a temporary bus interchange is continuing to operate at the front of the site and access to the ferry terminals and train station is maintained. This, and the fact that the majority of the site is situated on a platform over the sea, presents many challenges.

As part of Osborne's graduate scheme they offer visits to construction sites they are working on to broaden their knowledge of different projects. They also support all graduates through ICE (Institute of Civil Engineers) development in the aim to produce as many chartered and incorporated engineers as possible.

Jack Cottrell, Trainee Engineer at Osborne, said “The redevelopment of The Hard is an excellent focus for Osborne’s first graduate day of 2016. Working on an existing structure over the sea provides a number of unique challenges which has driven the use of lightweight concrete and other uncommon materials. Hosting the day will be a great opportunity to share experiences and innovative methods used on the scheme, to ensure continuous development within the engineering profession.”

Anna Limburn, project manager at Portsmouth City Council, said: "Our multi-million pound redevelopment of The Hard Interchange is a unique scheme which presents many challenges. We are pleased to be able to offer graduate engineers the opportunity to view the site from the equally unique location of the Emirates Spinnaker Tower and learn more about the scheme."

For more information on the project search 'The Hard' at

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