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First hover for Hovertravel’s new craft

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first craft out of the engineering shed web

Hovertravel has released more details about their new craft project. The first of the two craft hovered for the first time last week and this week has been moved out of the engineering shed to have the propellers connected to the engines.

“The first hover for any hovercraft is a highly significant goal and everyone at Hovertravel and Griffon Hoverwork was delighted to be able to reach this major milestone in the build project”, explained Loretta Lale, Hovertravel's Commercial and Marketing Manager, “The next stage is to prepare the craft to undergo performance testing on the water.”

With the project timings all on schedule, this first craft has been rigorously inspected by both the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Lloyds Register. Following their approval and the provision of a Permit to Operate and Trials Exemption Certificate, the craft can now be tested on the water.

“With more than 40 years of experience and having constructed over 170 hovercraft, Griffon Hoverwork has an unrivalled experience in working with this type of vessel” added Selina Kefford, Marketing Manager at Griffon Hoverwork, “As part of our comprehensive trials/testing process, we will soon be measuring the performance of the craft on the water to ensure it meets with our manufacturing and design parameters.’’

Griffon is expected to start conducting these tests within two weeks.

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Portsmouth's local radio station celebrates audience boost

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EXPRESS FM - Josh Beaven webJosh Beaven, presenter of the Portsmouth Drive Home, celebrates the new figures

Express FM, which celebrates a decade of broadcasting in the city this year, is in receipt of encouraging audience research results.

Independent research accredited by the University of Portsmouth has shown that Express FM now attracts 20% of people in Portsmouth each week (40,000), an increase of 30% since the last research was published.

The radio station broadcasts on 93.7FM and has recently launched on DAB digital radio, increasing its coverage area to better serve listeners in and around Fareham and Waterlooville.

Station Director Cheryl Buggy says, "When Express began broadcasting to Portsmouth nearly 10 years ago, it was one of the first community stations in the UK. Year on year we have seen our audiences grow as local people appreciate more and more the fact they have their own station that is ‘Passionately Portsmouth’.

"It's great therefore to see from our latest research that our listener numbers have seen such a huge boost in the past 18 months. Our new 5 year licence begins in March so we are here to stay and intend to grow even more in the forthcoming years”.

The radio station continues its partisan coverage of all Portsmouth FC matches and continues its commitment to promoting all that’s good about the city, with regular interviews, what’s on information and free exposure for local not-for-profit organisations.

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Sign of the times as ‘banana boats’ get longer at Portsmouth International Port

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Antwerp Trader  Martin Putman Port Manager and the largest cargo vessel to arrive at Portsmouth International Port Antwerp Trader - Copy
The Antwerp Trader and Port Manager Martin Putman

The largest cargo ship to have ever called at Portsmouth International Port arrived this week. The Maersk Antwerp Trader is 211 metres long, and arrived from Colombia with a cargo of bananas on January 20th.

The arrival of the container ship at Albert Johnson Quay marked a change in business for MMD Ltd, the Port owned fruit import specialists. Previously cargo on the route from Central America had been carried on traditional reefer vessels, largely transported on pallets. However, Fyffes has decided to use larger ships from now on, with all the bananas being kept in containers.

Staff at MMD unloaded the hundreds of containers full of fruit when the vessel arrived. Portsmouth International Port was the first port of call for the Maersk Antwerp Trader on its journey from Colombia. It then headed off to Antwerp and Rotterdam. This also marked a major change. In the past reefer vessels carrying Fyffes bananas would have called at Antwerp first before sailing onto Portsmouth.

This was the first of a new weekly service operated by Maersk Line, the world’s largest shipping company, and a move made possible by a recent £5 million pound investment in the Port’s future. Recent work to demolish the “Floating Dock Jetty” means Maersk Line can bring its vessels to Portsmouth, with easier navigation within the Port.

The Port Manager, Martin Putman, was waiting to greet the vessel when it arrived at around six in the evening. A new container handler has been purchased to unload the cargo, new investment that Martin believes is safeguarding the future of the Port.

Talking about the arrival Martin Putman said, “This is an important milestone for Portsmouth International Port. Not only does it show how necessary recent investment has been, making the Port safer for bigger vessels, but it also demonstrates our ability to be flexible in a dynamic market, delivering the changes that our customers require. The Port is moving with the times and cruising into the container age.”

For further information please contact Emma Gaisford or Julie Blackwell on 01256 631 696 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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BH Live launches free swimming at Pyramids, Portsmouth

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To promote water confidence and encourage more families to participate in physical activity together, social enterprise BH Live has introduced free swimming sessions for children under five years old at Pyramids, the region’s largest leisure and entertainment complex in Portsmouth.

“Family swimming is one of the most popular activities at Pyramids and the ambition is to encourage even more people to take to the water, says Richard Neale, BH Live’s Divisional General Manager at Pyramids.

“When we began to manage Pyramids in 2013, one of the first things we did was to launch more family swimming sessions and a ‘learn to swim’ programme. Spending time in the supervised environment of a public swimming pool from a young age can help to build water confidence. Being an island nation, surrounded by coastal waters, rivers and lakes, this is a valuable skill for life which can go on to potentially save lives.

He adds, “To complete to overall family experience, we have also introduced more child friendly food and healthier options in the café which has resulted in positive customer feedback.”

Swimming is still one of the most popular activities in the UK and getting into a pool from a young age can also help to build positive habits for adult life.

Richard Neale explains, “Industry research tells us that children who regularly take part and enjoy physical activity are more likely to carry on into adulthood. Swimming is something that the whole family can enjoy together and we hope this initiative will make it an even more attractive activity and encourage more people to take part.”

Pyramids is also running a ‘swim for £1 on selected sessions’ offer for 5-15 year olds during January and February 2016.

To find out more about swimming at Pyramids visit pyramids.co.uk or telephone 023932 00 330.

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Professor Catherine Harper at the opening of the White Swan Building [INTERVIEW]

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This week saw the official opening of the University of Portsmouth's White Swan Building. It's been a big investment and had completed the development of the New Theatre Royal site making it a wonderful creative hub in the city. Cheryl Buggy spoke to Professor Catherine Harper, the Dean of the faculty of Creative Industries.

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