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Strategic Sectors



The Solent area has unique sectoral strengths and we need to build on our recognised position as the leading location and growth hub for advanced manufacturing and engineering (marine, aerospace, renewable energy, environmental technologies and composites) together with supporting transport and logistics, the visitor economy, the low carbon sector and the creative sector.

The development of growth hubs and strategic sector based clusters which can deliver export-led growth in high value employment is critical to the success of the Solent economy. We are committed to ensuring that all our strategic priorities and their delivery are targeted towards meeting the needs of these sectors.

The Solent's marine and maritime heritage is quite simply extraordinary. Our success is founded on our unique geographic advantages and physical assets combined with centuries of success in traditional maritime skills.

Further information on our Marine and Maritime Economy is available here.

A full copy of Transforming Solent: Marine and Maritime Supplement is available here.

Solent Marine and Maritime Steering Group

In April 2014 BIS (The Department for Business Innovation and Skills), published a report, led by Rear Admiral Rob Stevens CB, setting out a strategy for driving the long-term sustainable growth of our marine and maritime sector. We have endorsed the Marine and Maritime Supplement as a 7 year strategic plan for the development of the sector in the Solent LEP area. A key recommendation of the study was the creation the Solent Marine & Maritime Steering Group (SMMSG) to advise the Solent LEP on the delivery and further development of the Strategy.

The vision of the SMMSG is to drive the long term, sustainable growth of the Solent Marine and Maritime sector to benefit both the Solent and UK plc. By giving a voice to the sector in the Solent area the SMMSG seeks to drive forward a new culture of working together across the Solent to support investment, innovation and to nurture the skills and talents required to embrace new technologies.

The SMMSG is a dedicated delivery group of the Solent LEP, bringing together a range of partners to progress work focused on the LEPs marine & maritime growth agenda. The group includes representatives from the region’s public, private and educational organisations as well as relevant Government Agencies, in addition to representatives providing a direct link to the main Solent LEP Board of Directors.

Further information on the Solent Marine and Maritime Steering Group is available here.

Progress to Date

Since the publication of the Marine and Maritime Supplement a number of key activities have been progressed, including securing the Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing Head Quarters in Portsmouth. A summary of first year achievements of the SMMSG has been published in our Making Waves document. 

The Solent LEP has invested in the Solent Test Facility, which is a autonomous testing range accessible to SMEs aimed at supporting the commercialisation of autonomous projects.



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