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Bid to create 'southern powerhouse' through pan-Hampshire Deal moves forward

23 June 2023
The Solent Freeport has today been announced as one of the first UK Freeports to be fully approved by Government
Solent Freeport, credit: Solent Freeport

Leaders from Southampton, Portsmouth, Hampshire and Isle of Wight councils are to meet with the Government to discuss a Pan-Hampshire Deal worth £1.14bn.

Hampshire County Council welcomed the intention of Government to progress a single County Deal for the area, designed to bring significant investment into Hampshire’s economy and devolve other funding and powers currently held in Whitehall Departments

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Rob Humby, said: “We have always said that we want to achieve the most ambitious deal possible for the wider Hampshire area, and that the way to do that is collectively with our neighbouring Unitary Authorities. I am pleased that Government have recognised the importance of the whole region to potentially securing an additional £1.14bn of investment for our combined population of 2 million residents.

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“Pan-Hampshire is a genuine southern powerhouse, combining towns, cities, people, and businesses that are part of a nationally and internationally important economic area. A Pan-Hampshire County Deal would make a significant contribution to Hampshire’s economic prosperity. It would stimulate economic recovery, regeneration, and business growth across the Pan-Hampshire area, as well as the wider region, now and for the future – with the goal of making the Pan-Hampshire area better and stronger, and all the benefits this would bring to the people who live, work, and visit the area.”

“Through a County Deal, we want to deliver new powers for Pan-Hampshire, as well as lock in an additional £1.14bn investment by Government in our area over the next 30 years. Drawing down more decision-making powers to the people and places of Pan-Hampshire through a County Deal from Government would empower our local areas - so we can all decide how to keep our area prosperous and thriving for years to come. This is a once in a generation opportunity to bring far reaching benefits for our residents, communities and business – improving people’s lives for decades to come.”

“We look forward to the next stages of discussion and urge our partners to actively support and engage with the potential benefits to all residents of a Pan-Hampshire approach. It is imperative that we do not squander this opportunity to lay the strongest foundations for economic prosperity possible for our residents now and long into in the future.”

The Pan-Hampshire area covers Hampshire County Council, Southampton and Portsmouth City Councils, the 11 district and borough councils within the County Council administrative area and the Isle of Wight Council.

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Stephen Emerson is the Managing Editor of The Business Magazine and is responsible for the publication's print publications and online properties including the newly launched Biz News websites in Hampshire and Dorset.

Stephen has been a journalist for 20 years and has worked at local, regional and national publications and led a team which made The Scotsman website one of the fastest growing news sites in the UK with over eight million monthly users.

He has a keen interest in technology, property and corporate finance and telling the stories of the people behind the successful firms in these sectors.

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