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Free parking boost for Southsea

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Southsea shoppers are set to save money thanks to a new free parking scheme.

Portsmouth City Council has introduced free parking 3pm-6pm, Monday to Friday, in Ashby Place car park, located off Osborne Road and behind businesses in the southern part of Palmerston Road,

The initiative will run for the next 12 months with the aim of encouraging more shoppers to the area and boosting the profits of local shops and businesses.

This move follows the introduction of an identical scheme in North End's Stubbington Avenue car park in December.

Cllr Luke Stubbs, the council's Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration & Economic Development, said: "Parking prices are one of the few things the council has the power to change that can benefit businesses. We're always keen to try new initiatives, we want to attract more people to the area and hopefully the money they save in parking will be spent in the shops."

Cllr Ken Ellcome, the council's cabinet member for traffic & transportation, said: "I hope the introduction of a 'free from three' initiative in Ashby Place will help the area. Southsea is one of the city's main shopping districts and with this support we're aiming to make it even more popular."

Ashby Place car park already has free parking from 6pm - 10pm on Wednesday's to help support the evening midweek economy.

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Nominations open for Portsmouth Inspiring Volunteer Awards 2016

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People across Portsmouth are being asked to nominate inspirational individuals or groups for the Portsmouth Inspiring Volunteer Awards 2016.

The awards recognise volunteers who make a real difference to their area or the lives of others.

Organised by Portsmouth Together and Pompey in the Community, the awards are funded through support from local businesses and nominations open until 21 March.

Organisations or individuals can be nominated within five categories: Cleaning & Greening; My Community; Arts, Culture & Heritage; Sports & Healthy Living; and Education & Mentoring.

Each category contains three awards, with a new team prize introduced this year alongside the existing under-25 and 25 and over categories.

Up to three nominees will be shortlisted for each award by a panel of judges made up of representatives from the Portsmouth Voluntary and Community Network and the award sponsors.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Fratton Park on 1 June, during Volunteers' Week 2016.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Frank Jonas said: "The awards are our chance to celebrate not only the excellence of volunteers, but the amazing things we can accomplish when we work together to make Portsmouth the best city it can be. The judges will be looking for volunteers who have shown outstanding enthusiasm and commitment, who have given exceptional service or contributed particular depth of experience, or who have achieved great impact through their volunteering."

Clare Martin, Pompey in the Community's director of community projects, said: "Volunteers form an integral part of any community organisation and Pompey in the Community is no different - without our volunteers we wouldn't be able to deliver programmes that have such an impact on the city and surrounding areas. We are pleased to again be part of the Portsmouth Inspiring Volunteers Awards".

Nominations can be registered online by visiting volunteer.portsmouth.gov.uk or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The website also includes details of last year's award winners for anyone wanting to see the calibre of volunteers in the city.

Portsmouth Together aims to improve citywide issues by coordinating and supporting volunteer work. Lead by Portsmouth City Council it was developed with Cities of Service, an international organisation dedicated to engaging citizens.

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Kings Youth Theatre “Leading Lights” helping to celebrate the birthday of the biggest youth theatre festival on the planet!

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Twenty-one years ago the National Theatre, London launched the Connections Festival in response to a demand for good, new, relevant plays for young people to perform.

Two decades later, it has become one of the most exciting and biggest projects that celebrates the talents and passion of young theatre makers whether in schools or in youth theatre groups from right across the UK and beyond.

As part of the celebrations this year, 12 outstanding plays were chosen from the Connections’ 21 year back catalogue. 12 plays which represented the diversity and excitement generated by each Connections festival. The celebrations will also encompass 41 Partner Theatres hosting 40,000 Audience Members witnessing 1200 Performances involving 10,000 Young People from 500 Youth Theatre Companies including the Kings Theatre’s very own “Leading Lights”.

The Kings Youth Theatre’s Leading Lights chose to perform the gritty, urban and dark “Blackout” written by Davey Anderson. Blackout is inspired by the true story of a young offender from Glasgow who had committed a violent crime. It is a hard-hitting play about getting bullied, fighting back, trying to make a name for yourself, turning vicious, doing something stupid, losing everything, then finding your way again.

To truly reflect the very special nature of this performance, Blackout will be performed in the Kings Theatre Studio Theatre. The ‘Studio’ is a specially designed space that is created on the Kings Theatre stage, seating just 100 and set in an area where audiences never normally go. Audience members will be seated on stage arms-length from the actors, creating a much more intimate, “up close and personal” experience.

Jo Bennington, Youth Theatre Co-ordinator commented, “Every now and again, a piece of drama will come along that both intrigues and excites all that are involved with it at the opportunity of being able to work on it. Blackout is one such piece. It is a testing piece for all involved, however the students are rising to the challenge and are looking forward to presenting it to the best of their ability in the very intimate, personal setting that the studio creates.”

Click here for more details about the show.

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The Return of Pompey Dhobi Dust

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Portsmouth’s naval history inspires new laundry soap range
Portsmouth’s naval history inspires new laundry soap range


Portsmouth based natural skincare company Southsea Bathing Hut started with a mission to revive the city’s soap-making heritage. This month, it has released a new product line inspired by that industry’s naval origins.

Dhobi Dust is traditional Portsmouth Laundry Soap. Company Director Samantha Worsey explains, “Portsmouth’s soap industry started by serving the navy, 400 years ago. There were a lot of uniforms to wash. At that time, laundry soap was totally natural; a long way from the chemicals and artificial fragrances used in most washing powder, tablets and liquids today.”

Southsea Bathing Hut’s Dhobi Dust takes its name from ‘Jack Speak’, which is Portsmouth naval slang. ‘Dhobi’ refers to the laundry service on-board naval ships.

Made from minerals and vegan soap flakes, Dhobi Dust is completely natural. This makes it perfect for people with sensitive skin. It is available in two fragrances. Splendid Blend is described a ‘a fragrant combination of gentle and uplifting floral aromas’ and Ooh La Lavender is a ‘subtle, relaxing and contemporary lavender fragrance’.

Samantha says, “We trialled Dhobi Dust last summer. The response was really positive. People were very happy with the washing experience. Customers have told us there’s no need for a separate fabric conditioner when using Dhobi Dust. We’ve had a lot of people ask us when we’re making more. So we decided to make Dhobi Dust a permanent part of our range.”

Dhobi Dust is currently an online exclusive from southseabathinghut.co.uk.

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Positive ferry figures for Portsmouth International Port as UK statistics unveiled

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Increased passenger numbers at Portsmouth International Port have helped boost the UK ferry industry, despite challenges faced at other British ports.

The latest ‘Ferrystat’ figures from Discover Ferries, the industry group representing most UK ports and operators, show an overall increase of motorists using ferries - with 1.3% more cars carried in 2015.

With well-publicised issues on routes to and from Calais, the Discover Ferries report shows some passengers chose alternative ferry routes to the continent in 2015. This resulted in good growth of 3.4% (2.94m passengers) on the Western channel routes to France principally served by Brittany Ferries. The operator, based at Portsmouth International Port, saw an impressive rise in cars too, with the number of passenger vehicles carried up by 5.8% to 990,000 in 2015.

Domestic routes also saw good growth. The Discover Ferries report highlights destinations such as the Channel Islands and Isle of Wight, both reached from Portsmouth International Port, among the top-performing sector in 2015.

Reflecting on the figures, Bill Gibbons, Director of Discover Ferries, said: “ It demonstrates the broad reach and appeal of the ferry industry and how operators can work together in challenging times. We expect a further surge in customer interest when the industry comes together again to promote National Ferry Fortnight (March 5-19) with offers to appeal to ferry first timers, and those trying a new ferry route with their car for the first time”.

Staff at Portsmouth International Port are looking forward to National Ferry Fortnight in March, promoting ferry travel from “Britain’s Best Connected Port” during its 40th birthday year. With more routes to France, Spain and the Channel Islands than any other UK Port there’s plenty to celebrate and plenty of choice – even more reason to make Portsmouth your gateway to a hassle free holiday in 2016.

For further information please contact Emma Gaisford/Julie Blackwell on +44 (0)1256 631 696 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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