AN UNEXPLODED Second World War bomb halted work on the Hampshire headquarters for Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup bid.

The device was discovered in the building area where the Lymington-based Olympic sailing star is having his new multi-million pound headquarters constructed in Portsmouth.

His decision to choose Portsmouth over the former Vosper Thornycroft site in Southampton to base his team sparked huge controversy earlier in the year.

Sir Ben said he had chosen Portsmouth due to its “maritime heritage” and the footfall generated by the ferry port.

The shell was found at around 3.30pm yesterday, causing police to set up a cordon at Portsmouth Cathedral to prevent people from accessing Sallyport and The Point.

The Royal Navy bomb squad was drafted in and safely removed the shell. The cordon was lifted just before 5.30pm.