Regeneration project at Priddy’s Hard secures Heritage Lottery Fund money

Priddy's Hard in Gosport

The grant is part of the HLF’s Heritage Enterprise programme, targeting projects which create new sustainable economic uses for derelict historic buildings.

The Priddy’s Hard site was established in 1777, and is believed to be the second oldest ordnance depot in the world. It was a restricted-access military site for over 200 years, and is now home to the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, which opened in March 2001.

PNBPT has been working in partnership with Linden Homes and local businesses to create an exciting new waterside destination overlooking Portsmouth Harbour. The elements of the project for which HLF has pledged initial support include:

  • sustaining and expanding an existing Gosport business and creating two new businesses
  • unlocking £11m private sector investment in the Estate to create a new community
  • creating 28 permanent positions and 44 construction jobs
  • securing the long-term future of seven Grade II* and Grade II listed buildings and the Scheduled Ramparts
  • unlocking the refurbishment of a further 10 listed buildings in the state
  • supporting the Explosion Museum and its business activities
  • providing the financial means for PNBPT to maintain the 25-acre estate in perpetuity

The project includes 104 new homes which Linden Homes will build. A combination of new houses and the sensitive conversion of historic buildings on the shoreline and beside the museum green will be at the heart of the new community.

PNBPT will use its income from the residential scheme to match-fund HLF’s support for the project, establishing new community facilities and innovative sustainable uses for at-risk buildings on the site.  These will include:

  • a new conservation centre operated by the National Museum of the Royal Navy
  • sleepover facilities for school groups in a converted gunpowder store
  • holiday accommodation in support of the Explosion Museum
  • a micro-brewery operated by the local Oakleaf Brewing Company and based in E Magazine, also a former gunpowder store
  • a new waterside pub-restaurant where Oakleaf will serve real ales and quality food made from local produce
  • opening of the Ramparts, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, to the public

Ed Anderson, Head Brewer at Oakleaf Brewing Company, said: “This is brilliant news; Priddy’s Hard is a fantastic, prestigious site and, with its steady temperature of 10°C, E Magazine is the perfect environment for brewing and storing beer. We will offer tours of the brewery, showing how we make our award-winning ales and how this amazing building was converted for the purpose. We look forward to welcoming locals and visitors to the new waterside pub restaurant to enjoy delicious meals and, of course, our beer.”

Peter Goodship, PNBPT Consultant Chief Executive, said: “This is a great example of business-led regeneration and partnership with both public and private sectors.  It has taken a while to reach this stage since we acquired the site from Gosport Borough Council at the end of 2010, but to bring 17 listed buildings back into sustainable use, help local businesses to expand, create almost 30 jobs, and build new homes with fabulous views of Portsmouth Harbour, will be a fantastic achievement and well worth the wait.”

This money has been awarded through HLF’s Heritage Enterprise programme. It is designed to help when the cost of repairing an historic building is so high that restoration simply is not commercially viable. Grants of £100k to £5million bridge the financial gap, funding the vital repairs and conservation work needed to convert derelict, vacant buildings like those at Priddy’s Hard, into new, usable commercial spaces that can have a positive impact on local economies.

Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “Historic buildings have incredible potential to act as a driver of regeneration and economic growth.  With Heritage Enterprise, HLF is enabling local communities and businesses to tap into that potential by covering the high costs of restoring vacant and underused heritage buildings – making them fit-for-purpose as commercial, and therefore sustainable, spaces.”

Further information

For further information, images and interviews, please contact: Abi Isherwood, Projects Co-ordinator at PNBPT, on 023 9289 3321 or

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