Rival cities put pen to paper for funding bid

Rae Bryden, manager at Joules in Gunwharf Quays, who was the Manager of the Year winner and was runner-up in the Fashion Store of the Year category at The News's Retail and Leisure Awards in 2016.  Picture: Sarah Standing (170883-5016)

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PORTSMOUTH and Southampton have put pen to paper to say they are joining forces in a bid to benefit from a government scheme.

As previously reported in The News, the two cities are putting in a joint bid under the City Deals scheme, and hope to share in a £1.5bn package.

The scheme cuts through bureaucratic red tape and allows councils and other bid organisations to run schemes and keep any money they make, as long as it is invested locally.

It also attracts private investment, and the joint bid is one of 20 being considered.

Portsmouth and Southampton have bid alongside the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, which is instrumental in attracting funding to the region.

Portsmouth will look to transform the naval base in order to meet increased demand for ships’ servicing; investment in the development at Tipner, and help in creating the Northern Quarter shopping, housing and leisure complex.

Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We may be friendly rivals historically, but we’re delighted to be working together for mutual benefit of the entire Solent area.’