£40m More Investment For Hampshire And Dorset

29 January 2015, 07:05 | Updated: 29 January 2015, 07:11

The government will announce an extra £40 million of investment in Hampshire and Dorset later.

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal which will see an extra £27.1m invested in the Solent area between 2016 and 2021. This is in addition to the £124.8m of funding committed by the Government on 7 July 2014.

Over the lifetime of its £151.9m Deal (2015-2021) the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 6,000 new jobs could be created, 11,000 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £400m public and private investment.

In Dorset, the county's LEP has agreed extra £12.6m in addition to the £66.4m of funding committed. It estimates up to 26,000 new jobs could be created, 3,000 new homes built with £650m of public and private investment generated.

The additional proposed projects include:

·      The next phase of work to improve transport and infrastructure in the Fareham and Gosport Peninsula, which will cut journey times, attract new businesses to the area and support the Solent Enterprise Zone and new housing delivery at Welborne.
·      Bringing forward a National Maritime Systems Centre of Excellence in Portsmouth, creating up to 95 jobs and developing skills in a key sector for the area.
·      Improving access to Southampton Western Docks, one of England’s largest trade ports.
·      A flexible programme of skills and innovation projects, to improve skills and promote innovation in the Solent area.

·      Building a second access from the A338 Wessex Way to the Wessex Fields business area which will unlock over 2,500 jobs as well as improving access to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

·      Provision of a joint business incubation centre to enhance the internationally recognised expertise of Bournemouth University and Arts University in the Digital and Creative industries sector.

The Growth Deals are part of a long term plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies. The plan aims for every part of the country to be a motor of growth for the national economy – building on the strength of the Solent area.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

"Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all.
“And this is happening right here in the South, with more money announced today for key projects to boost the local economy as part of the multi-million pound expansion of the Government’s Growth Deals.

“And because the money will be in the control of a partnership of local community, business and civic leaders it means it will go on the things that really matter to people and businesses here.”

“That is what Growth Deals are all about, backing local people and investing in the infrastructure, housing and skills that will drive forward local economies, create more jobs and opportunities for hardworking people and supercharge all parts of our country.”
Gary Jeffries, Chair of the Solent LEP, said:

“We are delighted that the Government has backed our ability to deliver transformational growth locally by devolving funds to the area. The funding announced brings the total secured through our Growth Deal to over £150m and this additional money will allow us to build on our initial deal with a further 1000 jobs and 1000 homes. That's on top of the 5,000 jobs and 10,000 homes already announced and is another milestone for us in helping the Solent realise its true potential.”

Cllr Simon Letts, Solent LEP Director and Leader of Southampton City Council said:

"The Port of Southampton is a major strategic asset for the Southampton, Solent and wider UK economy and the funds announced today will build on the recent good news the city has seen in the Autumn Statement for major road improvements at Redbridge and on the M3 by ensuring that that we can also enhance the access routes to the western docks. Together, this package of upgrades will have a big impact by allowing us to facilitate the projected growth at the Port and keep the City infrastructure running for Southampton businesses and residents alike."

Cllr Donna Jones, Solent LEP Director and Leader of Portsmouth City Council said:

"The additional funding announced today is the latest in a series of wins for Portsmouth and our world class defence cluster. It builds on Portsmouth Minister, Matthew Hancock's opening of the UK Centre for Maritime Intelligent Systems at Portsdown Technology Park and Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon's announcement of a new programme to upgrade the Spearfish Torpedo at the BAE UK Centre for Torpedoes. All of these are great successes in their own right, but together, they are making our ambition to establish Portsmouth as the global centre of excellence for the Defence industry of the future a reality."

Mid Dorset and North Poole MP Annette Brooke MP said:
“A quiet revolution is underway in Dorset and across the country, and Growth Deals signal the end of the culture where Whitehall calls the shots. I’ve seen for myself the difference it makes to give local areas real power over skills, over business support, and over infrastructure spending.

"I am delighted to welcome the expansion of the Dorset Growth Deal today.

“The Coalition Government has been relentless in our efforts to sort out the public finances and set firm foundations for growth. Growth Deals help create a stronger economy and a fairer society by boosting local economies, and providing more jobs, better transport and affordable homes.”