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New hope for Hampshire's last remaining Victorian Pier

Fresh start of historic pier Credit: ITV news

The new owners of Hampshire's last remaining Victorian Pier have revealed plans to re-open it this year. South Parade Pier in Portsmouth has been closed for more than a year and has fallen into disrepair. Now its new owners say they have spent £500,000 on structural repairs and hope to have parts of it open again this summer. The news comes as an event is being held this weekend to ask pier users how they want it to develop.

The Pier on Southsea Seafront has been a huge draw for visitors since the Victorian era. The mix of seaside attractions, performance venue and fishing platform has touched the hearts and memories of generations of visitors. It has survived three major fires and continual changes in fashion to become a classic fixture in the city of Portsmouth.

The public consultation is being held at the Royal Beach Hotel on Saturday. Residents are invited to give their thoughts on how the Pier could be re-developed. The South Parade Trust hopes that the the pier can once again become "both a hub for the local community, a functioning business and an asset for the City."

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Prime Minister pledges to safeguard defence jobs at Gosport, Portsmouth and at RAF Odiham

The Prime Minister is visiting Hampshire to confirm millions of pounds in defence investment securing more than 400 jobs.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has signed a £420 million contract with Boeing - which makes the Chinook helicopter - for 'in-service support'.

The contract will last for five years and will safeguard 450 jobs at Fleetlands in Gosport, with other technical support provided at RAF Odiham near Basingstoke and sites across the UK.

David Cameron is expected to tell defence workers based in Gosport, Portsmouth and RAF Odiham that their jobs are secure thanks to a deal to maintain the Chinook helicopter fleet and to prepare the naval dockyard for the new HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

One of the RAF's Chinooks based at RAF Odiham flying above the Hampshire countryside Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Chinook is the UK’s only military heavy lift helicopter and can transport up to 54 troops or 10 tonnes of supplies.

The RAF's fleet of Chinooks will total 60 in number by early 2017 and includes the new Mark 6 helicopters.

David Cameron will also announce the preferred bidders to occupy the Portsmouth ship hall facilities.

At the end of last month, it was announced by the MOD that three companies had been shortlisted.

In November 2013, it was announced 940 ship building jobs were to be lost by BAE at their Portsmouth yard.

It was feared at the time that the move would mean the end of shipbuilding in the city bringing to an end a centuries old local industry that built the Tudor warship the Mary Rose.

Vicious doorstep attack on 8-months pregnant woman

The attack happened in the Buckland area of Portsmouth Credit: PA (stock photo)

Detectives in Portsmouth are appealing for information after a 33-year-old pregnant woman was attacked on her doorstep as she held her one year-old child in her arms.

The eight and half month pregnant victim answered a knock at the door, holding her child, sometime between 2.30 and 2.50pm on Friday, February 6 at an address in Agincourt Road.

Three men were stood there. They asked for a man who had previously lived at the address claiming he owed them money. The woman has no connection with the man they wanted and does not know him. She explained this to them but one of the men then punched her in the face causing injuries that then bled over her child.

The phone line to the property was later discovered to have been cut.

The men left in a small dark green two door car. All three were white and in their 30s. The man who punched her was stocky with strawberry blonde hair. He wore a beige pullover with duffle buttons and had a southern accent.

This was a despicable and cowardly attack on a heavily pregnant young mum. It would have been obvious to the men she was expecting and also obvious she had a young child in her arms.

– Detective Constable Peter Bugden

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Children learn about ocean wildlife in our waters

It's not a sight you get to see everyday, but ferry passengers and school children were given the opportunity to come face-to-face with 43ft whales, sharks and dolphins.

We spoke to the director of marine charity ORCA, Sally Hamilton, and Portsmouth International Port manager, Martin Putman about the exhibition, which highlighted the variety of wildlife found in our seas off the Solent.

Chloe Oliver has this report.

Parents urged not to be alarmed by Hep A outbreak

Almost 800 children and teachers in Portsmouth are to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A after an outbreak of the disease.

The viral infection is usually associated with far away destinations like Africa and India.

But several cases have been reported in Portsmouth, including at at a junior school in the North End area.

As investigations continue, the decision has been taken to vaccinate all children and staff at Isambard Brunel Juniors, Meredith Infant and Pre-school, and Izzies Nursery School - which are all on the same site.

Tonight's ITV Meridian programme had all the information:

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