Solent LEP sets out its Economic Recovery Plan for the next two years

Chair of the Solent LEP says the plan represents first steps on the journey to 2050 and vision for the Solent to be the global leader in maritime and climate change adaptation

Paper map showing the solent area

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) the region’s lead for economic development is today launching its Economic Recovery Plan setting out how it will work with local partners to support the economy and businesses as they continue to address challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Survival, Stability and Growth
The plan sets out a three-stage approach to recovery: Survival, Stability and Growth. These set out immediate response activities being taken forward, work to support the areas adjustment to the new normal through increasing adaptability and resilience, and activity that will lay the foundations for investment in longer-term growth and prosperity. 

Build on existing measures
Initial phases of the plan aim to give the Solent the strongest possible platform for recovery over the next two years and build on existing measures established by the LEP including Small Business Recovery Grants, Pay it Forward Crowdfunder support, rural resilience funds for the New Forest and Isle of Wight and Restart, Restore and Recover Loan Fund.

Coinciding with the launch of the Economic Recovery Plan, the Solent LEP has responded to the Governments invitation for Comprehensive Spending Review representations with a call to back the delivery of the plan.

Establishing the Solent as a Tourism Zone
Key areas in which the LEP is seeking Government support include establishing the Solent as a Tourism Zone, which will bring forward a coordinated visitor offer and boost the off-season economy for one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.

Solent Growth Hub
The LEP is also seeking investment to continue and enhance its programme of funding and support for SME businesses through the Solent Growth Hub.

On skills, the LEP is seeking support for the expansion of the Solent Apprenticeship Hub and continuation of the Solent Careers Hub to help ensure people in the Solent can achieve the right skills to retain or secure employment and also to support industry as it seeks to respond to the ongoing economic challenges.

Solent Institute of Technology
Alongside this extension of existing activity, the Solent LEP is calling for the establishment of a Solent Institute of Technology focused on Maritime and Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

Building on the success of the recent Getting Building Fund, the Solent LEP is also seeking investment in a Solent Growth and Recovery Fund to bring forward the next wave of investments that will deliver jobs and homes in local communities and secure green growth of the economy.

Freeport status
Alongside activity in response to the pandemic, the submission also seeks to support the area through the EU transition process and calls for the establishment of Freeport status at the Port of Southampton and Portsmouth International Port.

Freeport status for the Solent’s ports will enable the area to strengthen trading relationships with the world and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of coastal communities.

Johnson: Immediate focus on immediate survival and recovery
Brian Johnson, Chair of the Solent LEP said:

“Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic and associated public health restrictions have had an immense impact on all our businesses and communities, we recognise that businesses are being impacted in different ways and on different timeframes. The Economic Recovery Plan will help shape our activity to support local businesses throughout each phase of their recovery and we are looking to Government to help us continue and strengthen this support across the region.

“Additional support is particularly critical now as we enter the winter period; we welcome the Governments Winter Economic Plan and stand ready to work with Government to support our businesses through the challenging months ahead.

“Our immediate focus and priorities in delivering our Economic Recovery Plan are on immediate survival and recovery over the next two years. However, we remain fully committed to securing the long-term growth and prosperity of the Solent.

“The plan represents the first steps on our journey to 2050 and vision for the Solent to be the global leader in maritime and climate change adaptation, with towns and cities that are fantastic places to live, trade and with opportunities for all our communities to flourish.”

Find out more
A copy of the Solent Economic Recovery Plan is available on the Website and details on support available from the Solent LEP can be found on the Support Hub.

News shared by Bex on behalf of Solent LEP. Ed

Image: Annie Spratt under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 25th September, 2020 12:39pm



Filed under: Business, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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2 Comments on "Solent LEP sets out its Economic Recovery Plan for the next two years"

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Angela Hewitt

This is just a copy and paste of all previous action plans over the past 20 years. They are seeking this and seeking that lots of seeking everywhere. What are they seeking? Support for this, support for that. Lots of jargon. May their dreams come true.

Benny C

Maybe they will seek some explanations as to how the procurement of a replacement chain ferry, which they part funded, has gone so badly and expensively wrong, how it will be put right and how residents will be compensated for the IOWCs (and particularly fumbling Ian Wards) lack of control and what could be assessed as, frankly, a dereliction of duty.