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PORTSMOUTH North MP and minister for coastal communities Penny Mordaunt has told investors why they should consider developing in the Solent region.

As part of the Mipim property conference in central London, the member of Parliament yesterday told a group of around 40 people about some of the future prospects for the area.

Ms Mordaunt said the loss of 940 shipbuilding jobs at BAE Systems last year had been a blow, but that the city and business and community leaders had managed to work together and help reduce the impact on the local economy.

Afterwards, she said: ‘I think we have so much to offer as a city and as a region. I am very much trying to promote as the heart of the maritime and marine sector in the UK but I have also been able to show people we have got a very strong creative industry.

‘We have a lot going for us and it’s really important that we do market our city at events like this.

‘I don’t want us to just pootle along.

‘I want us to be creating high-skilled jobs for the future workforce and I want us to be giving lots of choice and opportunities to young people looking at careers.

‘I also want our wonderful local businesses to be able to expand.

‘We should not be shy about that and we have got huge potential.

‘I am really pleased that Portsmouth has taken advantage of this opportunity. I have been trying to push us on the world stage. It is incredibly important because we are a global city. I think we are an attractive investment proposition and I would congratulate Business South on creating this opportunity for the Solent region.’

n To read more about Portsmouth’s representation at the Mipim conference, see page 11.