Government has today announced the great news that the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has secured £124.8m towards deliverying the Solent Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). The Local Growth Deal will build on the success of the recent City Deal, focused on driving growth in Southampton and Portsmouth, with a broader package of interventions to cover the entire Solent area.
Local Growth Deal Funds will be used to leverage additional investment from the private sector, developers and other local partners of £360m, resulting in a total investment package for the Solent valued at £484.8m. That investment will result in the creation of 5,000 new jobs, 10,000 new homes, 296,000sqm of employment floorspace, 2,500 apprenticeships and 600 businesses supported.
The investment secured by the deal will be focused on three key areas to deliver transformative growth:
Enabling flagship sites for housing and employment - A multi-year programme of infrastructure investment in Fareham and Gosport to support the development of a substantial new town at Welborne, north of Fareham, with a planned 6,000 new homes, including a new "all moves" junction 10 of the M27. This will also improve access around the Gosport peninsular to support growth in the Enterprise Zone (Daedalus) and ultimately Gosport Waterfront, creating 3000 new jobs in the period to 2021 and unlocking 248,000sqm of floor space for businesses. In addition, the Deal will invest in a £14m transport package to support North Whiteley by providing a major new transport link to the existing highway access in the area which will support the current community and enable 3,500 new homes and create 500 new jobs. Solent LEP will also be pioneering a new approach to working with local public sector land owners, with the Department for Transport and agencies in a joint Strategic Land and Infrastructure Board. The board will take a strategic approach to the release and disposal of land across the Solent area, and will support the joint planning and delivery of transport.
Enhancing transport connectivity across the area - The Deal will invest in a package of transformational measures to support strategic developments, relieve congestion and reduce journey times across the Solent area. The deal will provide a £14.95m investment package to transform and modernise the Red Funnel terminals at East Cowes and Southampton, improving connectivity and removing capacity constraints. Moving the ferry terminals will release land to underpin the Southampton Royal Pier and in East Cowes regeneration schemes, which will include employment space and 550 new homes. In return, Red Funnel will invest £15m in refurbishment of the ferry fleet.
Growing the skills base and supporting business growth - The Deal includes a package of measures to enhance skill levels in the area to enable young people to take advantage of jobs in growing sectors, including marine, maritime and advanced manufacturing. Through the deal, the LEP will invest in upgrading existing college facilities, including a new Advanced Technology block, at Eastleigh College. This investment will increase the number of young people enrolling on science, technology, engineering and maths course by 10% year on year between 2014 and 2020. In addition, the LEP will create a new centre of excellence on the Isle of Wight focused on the growth area of composites. The centre will be supported by the global engineering company, GKN and based alongside their high-tech facilities. The deal is also good news for the Solent's SME base, with £12m secured to continue the Solent LEPs successful Bridging the Gap funding programme for the next 6 years on a Solent-wide basis.
To read more about the latest Growth Deal announcement, please visit the Solent LEP website at www.solentlep.org.uk
A full copy of the Solent Growth Deal 192Kb can also be downloaded via the Solent LEP website at: http://solentlep.org.uk/uploads/documents/29_Solent_Growth_Deal.pdf