The Solent LEP has today (28th July 2016) submitted a proposal to Government to expand the value of the Solent Growth Deal to more than £2 billion.
To unlock this investment, the LEP has submitted an ambitious £161.7 million bid to Government to support a range of investments across the area. The overall package includes flagship projects such as Stubbington Bypass and Centenary Quay Phase 4 in Southampton as well as planned investments at Southsea seafront and Itchen riverside.
In Portsmouth, proposals include transport and energy infrastructure investments to help the City gear up for the arrival of the new QE Class Aircraft Carriers and unlock new land for development. In Southampton, funding will be used to bring forward road works to improve access to the City from the West - a strategic route enabling growth at the Port of Southampton.
If successful, the proposal will result in:
The LEP is also seeking resources to run a range of investment funds in the local area. This includes a dedicated Isle of Wight infrastructure fund, providing an opportunity to build on the work of the recently launched Isle of Wight Infrastructure Task force.
Other, Solent-wide, investment funds included in the proposal focus on supporting high growth businesses and Universities in the area to drive forward innovation, as well as a skills fund to build on the success of recent LEP investments at CEMAST on the Fareham/Gosport peninsular, facility upgrades and new Advanced Technology Block at Eastleigh College and new Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine (CECAMM) on the Isle of Wight.
Gary Jeffries, Solent LEP Chairman, said:
The LEPs proposal shows huge ambition and I believe that this is the right approach to securing those critical investments which will deliver the jobs, homes and skills our economy needs. We have been working with a wide range of partners in developing this proposal, including colleagues at Local Authorities, Members of Parliament and, critically, business. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those individuals and organisations that have offered their backing and this will put the LEP in a very strong position as we work to negotiate the best possible deal for the area over the coming months.
Anne-Marie Mountifield, Solent LEP Chief Executive, said:
The LEP and partners in the Solent area have demonstrated unrivalled capacity to deliver Local Growth Deal Funding for the benefit of all over the last 12 months. In 2015, we spent over £40m on key projects across the area and we are well underway with a further £44m investment during 2016 to bring forward investments that will unlock new housing and employment developments, address deficits in our transport connectivity and develop the skills and innovation are leading industries need to grow. We are very much looking forward to discussing our proposal on how we can work together and build on this success with Government.
Further information on the outcome of the LEPs Solent Growth Deal proposal is anticipated in the Autumn.
Find out more about the Local Growth Deal 3 submission here.