Government pledge to invest millions in the Portsmouth area welcomed by leaders

The funding could help ease congestion on the M27
The funding could help ease congestion on the M27

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POLITICAL and business leaders have today welcomed the government’s pledge to invest millions of pounds into the Solent’s economy.

As reported, The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership will be given £124.8m over the next five years towards road improvements that will help unlock future major employment sites and generate thousands of new jobs and homes.

A total of £46m has been allocated initially and that will be spent on improving connections to the Gosport peninsula and creating the Stubbington bypass.

Earlier today, leaders met at the Spinnaker Tower and spoke to The News about the importance of the deal being struck.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘I am delighted with the news that the government is investing in the Solent region.

‘The benefits to Portsmouth are really going to help shape the future of the community.’

Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader, said: ‘We need new jobs and homes, and any investment from central government is welcome given the problems we are facing with the closure of shipbuilding in the city.’

Minister for Portsmouth, Michael Fallon, explained the key thing is to provide consistent access across the Solent and make it easier for people to get from Portsmouth to places like Southampton and London.

Gary Jeffries, Solent LEP director, said: ‘this is a multi-year programme and the money we have been given in the first year is a reflection of the strength of our Solent Strategic Economic Plan.’

However, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem Leader, while welcoming the investment, questioned whether the investment was new money or just recycled.