£950m Investment For Portsmouth And Southampton
12 November 2013, 06:05
A £950m deal will be signed today (Tuesday 12 November) which will see 17,000 jobs created in Hampshire.
The City Deal will transfer Government-owned land and extra powers to Southampton and Portsmouth will provide an economic boost of almost £1 billion to the area, ministers have claimed.
The announcement comes just days after Portsmouth learned that 940 jobs would be lost following defence giant BAE Systems' decision to end shipbuilding in the city.
The plan will see Ministry of Defence land at Tipner and Horsea Island transferred to Portsmouth City Council for a nominal fee, potentially allowing development worth £831 million.
The plan includes £49 million of central government grants, £47 million from local government and £88 million of upfront investment from developers to improve infrastructure at the site.
The Southampton and Portsmouth city deal sees the two traditional rivals come together to take up extra powers and responsibilities, aimed at creating more than 17,000 jobs.
In Southampton, £7 million from the Regional Growth Fund will be used to help unlock the Watermark West Quay, which it is hoped will lead to £90 million of business investment in the city.
The city deal will also set up the new £5.8 million Solent Jobs Pilot, a joint investment proposal to help 1,000 very long-term unemployed people who have been unsuccessful at finding work through the Work Programme to get back to work.
A £1 million Department for Work and Pensions rapid response service will support those recently made redundant and £5 million from the Regional Growth Fund will be used to support training for BAE staff facing redundancy.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
"It is more important than ever for Portsmouth and Southampton's economic recovery that Whitehall hands over power to local people who can decide how to invest millions of pounds and build a stronger economy in the region.
"The deal will help to create thousands of vital new jobs in the region, and every effort is being made, both in Government and at a local level, to help the local area through a time of uncertainty.
"We have moved swiftly, shoulder to shoulder with local councils and businesses, to get this landmark deal signed so that Portsmouth and Southampton can reap the benefits quickly. I would like to thank and congratulate local government and business leaders in the area for straining every sinew to make the city deal happen.''
Cities Minister Greg Clark said:
"This city deal is a landmark achievement. It brings into productive use prime maritime land that Portsmouth and Southampton have for many years wanted to be available to attract jobs and investment.
"It will allow the unique advantages of the Solent to be available to many more firms creating skilled jobs. The £950 million of private and public investment is a huge vote of confidence in Portsmouth and Southampton.
"I pay tribute to the way in which business and civic leaders across the Solent have pulled out the stops to develop this hugely important deal. I'm delighted to be able to say 'yes' to it.''