Investors want to seek input from Solent businesses

ON THE UP The former HMS Daedalus site
ON THE UP The former HMS Daedalus site
The countryside surrounding Harting Down in the South Downs National Park, in West Sussex.

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AN ORGANISATION which has pumped millions of pounds of government money into the local economy wants to recruit new members.

The message has come from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is behind the development of the former HMS Daedalus airfield into a state-of-the-art business park.

It wants businesses to join up and have a say in who the company’s directors should be and influence the work it carries out across the region.

So far the Solent LEP, which is a private company, has secured close to £40m worth of funding in the Solent area as part of its strategy for growth.

Highlights over the last year included the creation of the News-backed Bridging the Gap fund, which gave small and medium-sized businesses in Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant the chance to get grants worth up to £50,000.

Solent LEP chairman Doug Morrison said: ‘The Solent LEP has performed extremely well to date, having secured significant funding from government sources like the regional growth fund in difficult economic circumstances.

‘All this was only possible thanks to the support of our founding member organisations.

‘It is now clear that the government is continuing to back LEPs as the key mechanism to drive economic growth locally.

‘And with the growing responsibility for LEPs outlined in the budget announcement and response to the Heseltine review, it is essential that we continue to strengthen the Solent LEP through the involvement of new business members.

‘We have a host of strong businesses in the Solent area and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage them to apply for membership and help us secure the future of the Solent economy.”

Businesses will be eligible to join if they are undertaking any professional activity in the Solent that makes a profit and are prepared to think of a senior representative who could become a director.

A full information and application pack can be found at solentlep.org.uk/downloads