Students to explore 40 years of punk in Pompey

A student reads about the punk scene in old copies of the Portsmouth News

Portsmouth Cultural Trust has been awarded a £30,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to celebrate punk’s major influence on British culture and to support a new generation in discovering the history of punk in the city. The money will help the Trust to deliver a project called Provincial Punk in Pompey: investigating and celebrating 40 years of Portsmouth’s musical history and heritage.

Punk’s ‘do-it-yourself’ ethos had particular resonance in cities and towns not normally associated with the music business and in communities badly affected by the economic downturn of the time. It had a very strong following in Portsmouth, hit especially hard by redundancies in the dockyards.

Now, thanks to National Lottery support, students from Havant Sixth Form College will work in partnership with Portsmouth Library Service to gain insight into this time in Portsmouth’s history, and will deliver the nine-month project to record the local punk scene of the 1970s.

A documentary will be created by students which will feature testimony and archive material from local people who experienced the punk scene first-hand. Distinguished designer and founder of Red or Dead, Wayne Hemingway, will also give a special talk on the influence that punk had on his work. 

Materials collected will be collated into a permanent exhibition to run alongside the existing volunteer-run Portsmouth Music Experience exhibition at the Portsmouth Guildhall. 

The film and exhibition will be launched at a punk gig to be held at Portsmouth Guildhall on the 17 November 2016. A pop-up shop selling punk merchandise produced by fashion students, mentored by a fashion designer, will form part of the gig. There will also be performances by a student punk band, formed as part of the project, and from a reformed punk band renowned in the city.

Hayley Reay, Learning and Participation Manager at Portsmouth Cultural Trust, said: “Portsmouth Cultural Trust is delighted to have been awarded HLF support to deliver this project, supported by such an inspiring collaboration of people and organisations. Encouraging young people to get inspired and explore their heritage is something that we are passionate about, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to deliver this in such a unique way.”

Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East England, said: “Punk was a major British cultural movement influencing music, fashion and youth culture. Thanks to National Lottery players, this inter-generational project will ensure that punk in Portsmouth is better interpreted and explained, helping us all to understand the importance of archiving cultural heritage.”

Notes to editors

Portsmouth Cultural Trust is a registered charity that is serious about music, art, education and entertainment, and with the ambition to become a major Hampshire business centre. Portsmouth Cultural Trust attracts 235,000 people to Portsmouth Guildhall per year with a wide range of concerts and conferences, making it they are one of the region's largest venues of its kind.

For further information

HLF: Tom Williams, Communications Manager, on tel: 020 7591 6056.

Hayley Reay, Portsmouth Cultural Trust Learning and Participation Manager, on tel: 023 93 870 193 or via email:

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