CITIES minister Greg Clark was set to sign off a multi-million pound deal today that will pave the way for major developments.
The government, as part of a City Deal, is giving Portsmouth and Southampton’s city councils £50m so they can carry out huge projects.
It’s anticipated that thousands of new homes and jobs will be built on land around Tipner and Horsea Island, which is being handed over by the Ministry of Defence.
The cash will also help pay for the expansion of WestQuay shopping centre.
The deal will pump £950m of investment into the area and create more than 17,000 jobs. It will also set up the new £5.8m Solent Jobs Pilot, which will help 1,000 long term unemployed people get back into work. Mr Clark was due to sign off the deal at 11am with key figures from Portsmouth and Southampton at the Spinnaker Tower.
He said: ‘This City Deal is a landmark achievement.
‘It brings into productive use prime maritime land that Portsmouth and Southampton have for many years wanted to be available to attract jobs and investment.
‘It will allow the unique advantages of the Solent to be available to many more firms creating skilled jobs. The £950m of private and public investment is a huge vote of confidence in Portsmouth and Southampton.
‘I pay tribute to the way in which business and civic leaders across the Solent have pulled out the stops to develop this hugely important deal.’