Hundreds of people from Somerstown work together to come up with naming ideas for the towers site

More than 350 Somerstown residents worked together to create a fresco of ideas as the local community began looking for a name for the brand new Portsmouth City Council-owned accommodation that will replace Horatia and Leamington Houses.

Click here to watch a two-minute video of the You Name It community event which saw hundreds of people from Somerstown gather for arts and crafts, coffee and cakes while local artist Emma Paxton used his name ideas to create a 3m long mural in the cafe in Somerstown Central (the hub).

The You Name It mural will now be mounted on the Somerstown Central cafe wall until it can be moved to the new housing estate which will replace the Earlsdon Street and Meriden Road blocks.

The mural’s creator, Emma, ​​said: “We had a lot of fun. There are so many people here, it’s really moving to see. This place has been full of kids and adults all day and we were given the most amazing ideas.

“Some of the themes for the names were based on local history, ‘the town by the sea’ and our community. There was a really positive atmosphere the whole time and we had people creating fridge magnets, named picture frames and collage boxes to take home.

Cllr Darren Sanders, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness Prevention, said: ‘That’s what the Horatia and Leamington Houses project has been about from the start – bringing the local community together to lead a project that will bring real improvements in Somerstown.

Be part of this exciting opportunity to improve Somerstown

The project to carefully and safely demolish the Horatia and Leamington houses is progressing well and is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.

The tearful former residents of Horatia House described their emotions as they watched a crane lift the block’s first panel on Monday November 29 (click here to watch a video of them describing their reaction).

The council also hosted a Somerstown Forest Community Art Session (click here to watch a two-minute video of the event), a lighting workshop (click here to watch a two-minute video of the event) and a play and planting event. (click here to watch a video) in the area around the blocks, to find out how people want the site improved. A community panel – made up of local residents, businesses, charities and former residents of the blocks – helps the council and design team develop the plans.

The council and the Horatia and Leamington Houses Community Panel said they will create a high quality, sustainable, mixed-use urban neighborhood. The community panel – which is central to the deconstruction and redevelopment projects – has been meeting monthly since March 2021.

To join the community panel or ask questions about the project; call Tim Raw on 07901 100537 or email [email protected]

Learn more

Visit www.horatialeamington.portsmouth.gov.uk to find out more about the project, watch videos and find all the documents relating to the deconstruction of the blocks and the redevelopment of the district.

Portsmouth City Council is creating thousands of new jobs and homes as part of the city’s ambitious vision for its future. Billions of pounds are invested in Portsmouth to drive growth and prosperity, strengthen our communities, celebrate our skills and heritage and support greener, healthier and happier lives. To find out more about all the regeneration plans and projects go to www.portsmouth.gov.uk/regeneration

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