The Solent LEP launched its 2016 Annual Report at their fifth Annual General Meeting on 1st March 2017 at the Solent Hotel in Whiteley.
Infrastructure investments were the focus for LEP members as 2016 saw the conclusion of the first full year of delivery for the Solent Growth Deal, through which the LEP has been able to spend over £40m on key infrastructure projects to support the area.
Investments highlighted included funding for key transport interchanges at Station Quarter in Southampton and The Hard Interchange in Portsmouth, as well as investments to unlock new development at both Dunsbury Park and the Solent Enterprise Zone.
Alongside major infrastructure projects, the LEP also showcased achievements across a range of other priorities identified by business as critical to unlocking growth in the area.
This included LEP investment in skills; through a £19.9m capital investment to bring forward two new world class skills centres in Eastleigh and on the Isle of Wight, as well as investment directly in partnership with employers to provide workforce training, and efforts to develop stronger links between Solent secondary schools and employers through a newly established Enterprise Adviser Network.
Other investments highlighted included Business Support and Innovation. 2016 saw the LEP's total financial support provided to SME businesses reached £7.5. This funding which has supported 100 existing businesses, established 70 new businesses, created and safeguarded over 1,200 jobs and enabled wider private sector investment of over £30m. An additional £4.5m has been provided to support the UKs first dedicate Cancer Immunology Centre in Southampton.
A full copy of the Solent LEPs 2016 Annual Report is available here.
In addition to the launch of the Annual Report, Solent LEP Members also used the AGM to discuss future priorities and the Governments Green Paper: Building our Industrial Strategy.
The Solent LEP would welcome comments from the Solent Business Community to help inform our response to the Green Paper and, if you have any thoughts or views you would like us to consider, please send these to us at firstname.lastname@example.org