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Solent Freeport announces first Chief Executive

March 31, 2023

James Hassett will be joining the Solent Freeport as its first Chief Executive in June 2023 driving forward the Freeport to become an established hotbed for innovation, a national hub for global trade and investment, and a catalyst for regeneration through the creation of high-skilled jobs.

James has over 25 years’ experience leading organisations across a range of industries include in the Engineering Sector, Environmental Sector and Public Sector. His background and skills are in sustainable development, regeneration and economic development.

Speaking about his appointment, James said:

“I know the Solent well, its unique character, potential and challenges. Taking on this role at this critical time is a unique opportunity to build on the early achievements of the Solent Freeport.

“As the UK’s most important gateway to European and global markets, the Solent Freeport is an important investment in the region’s future with enormous potential to level up our coastal communities. I am committed to working with partners, businesses and communities to ensure local people benefit from job creation and increased prosperity at the same time as delivering an internationally important Freeport.”

The Solent Freeport was one of the first UK freeports designated by Government in December 2022.

Brian Johnson, Chair of Solent Freeport, said:

“I’m delighted to welcome James to the Solent Freeport at this exciting time. James has extensive experience and a proven track record in delivering a strategic vision with highly successful results. He is the ideal person to lead the Solent Freeport as Chief Executive, with the vision, direction and ambition which will ensure the benefits of the Freeport are fully realised for our communities, businesses and the wider UK economy.’

“We’ve built some incredibly effective collaborations and made a great deal of progress in establishing the Solent Freeport. I am very much looking forward to working with James to fully realise the benefits Freeport status will bring to both our regional and national prosperity.”

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