Southsea Community Cinema
Portsmouth Film Society (PFS) can not bid for a new home at Lumps Fort’s Barrack House, near to Rose Garden.Portsmouth Film Society (PFS) would like to formally nominate the Lumps Fort as a Nominated Community Asset to allow this historic empty building to be used for community purposes such as PFS is suggesting and as a community aware, valued, cultural Centre of Excellence. Portsmouth Film Society (PFS) went to the tender stage with Portsmouth City Council (PCC) three times over the last 4 years for this site to establish the Southsea Cinema and Cultural Centre.
Portsmouth City Council didn’t find our most recent proposal financially viable and pulled the building from the tender stage without any other solution being tabled, or suggested, to Portsmouth Film Society. PCC procurement team said this building will not be put out to tender again and that they will find another alternative use for the building from within their own field of contacts to include the building in the local community landscape.
We are disappointed with the response letter we received from Stephen Bailey, Head of City Culture in Portsmouth City Council, saying that:
PFS had insufficient pre-cleared funding and didn’t comply within commercial requirements benchmarks the City Council was looking for to progress the favoured PFS scheme and related detailed tender bid onto the next stage of six months Exclusivity Period, post award project set up and detailing period.
Portsmouth Film Society has spent £4,000 over the course of a year on the planning, building surveys, and administrative costs to the prepare our proposal for the Southsea Cinema and Cultural Centre at Lumps Fort.
Regarding the initial funding, PFS raised £100,000 with a business partner the Garage Lounge, £100.000 from private investors and an additional £100.000 loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund. We always declared that to secure major grants like Heritage Fund or Big Lottery, without a letter from PCC, not legally binding, that PFS had sole potential supplier status, with the caveat that all the sources of funding had been formally and irrevocably awarded and credited to PFS account.
The PFS budget indicated the ability to sustain a profitable business after one year which appears to have been discounted by the review committee. Portsmouth Film Society is run by volunteers and is a Not for Profit Organisation who already have strong, long established local community interest, appeal and a long-established community related brand. All our members are registered on the Local Electoral Roll.
We would like to formally nominate the Lumps Fort as a Nominated Community Asset to allow this historic empty building to be used for community purposes such as PSF is suggesting and as a community aware, valued, cultural Centre of Excellence. The Lumps Fort has stood empty, unused and unloved for over thirty years. Due to this neglect over such a long period of time, the basic structure, integrity of this iconic historic building is being ever more compromised from neglect. The Lumps Fort has been unloved and almost derelict for years and is importantly located in a listed area adjacent to the Rose Garden and is clearly out of sync with the Portsmouth Council Seafront Strategies.
Portsmouth Film Society believe we have a solid business case and support from local individuals, community groups and businesses and await your decision All this does beggar the question, why this iconic historic building, in a top listed area of Portsmouth, Southsea Seafront has stood unoccupied and unloved for such a long period of time.
Thank you for our supporters for their support letters:
- Garage and Lounge (also business partner)
- Dr. Alessandro Melis, University of Portsmouth Architecture Department
- Claire Woollard , Producer, Journeys Festival International Portsmouth ArtReach
- John Sackett, BIG Adventures and the Front Room
- Andy Grays CEO Portsmouth Guildhall Trust,
- Leyley Tapper, Pearl and Dean
- Deniz Beck – Architect Deniz Beck Partners Ltd.
- Tiffany Holmes Community Manager Film Hub South West, BFI FAN
- Prof. Trevor Keeble, CIC Dean of Faculty, University of Portsmouth
- Stef Nienaltowski, Director Shaping Portsmouth
- Paul Gonella, Director of Strong Island Ltd
- Louise Reed & Joanna Bird Media Department, Southdown College
- Sue James , Global Justice Portsmouth &Portsmouth Fairtrade Forum
- Uta Schmidtblaicher, Community Development Worker, Portsmouth City Council
- James Ralls, Director, Victorious Festival