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Solent Waterfront Strategy Launch

31 July 2008
Solent water front strategy
Left to right: Kathy Slack, SEEDA; Sally Lynksey, Business Southampton; Jonathan Shaw, regional minister and Malcolm Le Bas, Chairman, Business Southampton.

The Solent Waterfront Strategy launched today (29th July 2008) establishes the importance of the sector and its significance to the economy. The Solent marine sector is estimated to be worth £5.5 billion, and makes up 27% of the Solent’s economy and provides 25,000 direct jobs.

The Strategy's main aim is to support the marine industry by safeguarding strategic waterfront land sites for business growth. Local authorities in the coastal area that runs from West Sussex to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have been consulted and planners and policy makers will also be encouraged to support the Strategy. The need to address the marine skills shortage through investment in programmes is emphasised.

"SEEDA sees this Strategy as a clear plan of action for developing the Solent for business while safeguarding its environment. It’s also a good example of partners and business working together to identify the marine sector’s needs and coming up with a workable solution."

Kathy Slack, SEEDA Director, Hampshire and Isle of Wight

"The Government’s recently published South East Plan recognises the importance of safeguarding key sites for the marine industry as identified in SEEDA’s Waterfront Strategy, because we know how much marine businesses contribute to the local economy. Further support to industry will be provided in the forthcoming and unique Marine Bill, which will create streamlined regulation and planning alongside better protection for marine wildlife and habitats."

Jonathan Shaw, Minister for the South East

"We welcome this report as it gives us the evidence to retain waterfront sites for continued and future economic development and wealth creation for the marine industry."

Jonathan Williams, CEO Marine South East

"As the owners and operators of the Port of Southampton, we understand the importance of the marine industry to the local and regional economy. Following a period of record growth, we are currently rolling out our largest-ever investment programme in the port's facilities and infrastructure so it can continue to create wealth and meet the needs of future generations. However, we also recognise that business and environmentalists must work together for the responsible development of the marine sector. To this end, we strive to develop the port in the most sustainable way possible and we welcome the launch of the Solent Waterfront Strategy."

Doug Morrison, ABP Director, Port of Southampton


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