The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the region’s lead for economic development, has submitted a Freeport proposal to government on behalf of a coalition of businesses, local authorities and other partner organisations including Portsmouth International Port.
The bid is in response to a competitive process designed to establish at least ten UK Freeports.
According to the LEP, the Solent Freeport would attract £2billion investment and create 52,000 jobs. High quality employment space would be created, with investment specifically targeted at state-of-the-art growth sectors and ground-breaking approaches to decarbonisation. There would be a particular emphasis on green skills and jobs to ensure local communities – and in particular our young people – can benefit from opportunities created.
A deadline for bids was set for Friday, February 5, with the government expected to announce which areas have been successful later this year.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “Our Solent region has a dynamic and fast growing marine and maritime sector and an appetite for innovation, so we’re delighted to join our partners to deliver a strong Freeport bid.
“Our proposal provides sustainable and long-term opportunities. We’ll bring trade closer to home, providing global connection to the UK through the advantages of our combined road, rail, air and sea networks.
“With a designated customs site at Portsmouth International Port and a tax site at Dunsbury Park, there are exciting opportunities for business growth resulting in employment opportunities, making Portsmouth and surrounding areas the showcase for a global Britain.”
Read more on the Portsmouth International Port website