New leader takes helm of eco-friendly group

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THE partnership building a lower carbon economy in the Solent region has appointed a new chairman.

Stewart Dunn will lead Future Solent as it continues to steer companies and organisations towards greener technologies and more sustainable business practices.

Mr Dunn, who is also chief executive of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said one of his key aims was to bring together more ‘like-minded’ companies to foster energy efficiency and innovation.

Since its launch in 2012, grant funding coordinated by Future Solent has seen 14 companies receive more than £1.1m.

The partnership has helped to create more than 130 jobs in the low carbon sector and attracted £5.3m in private investment.

Mr Dunn, who takes over from outgoing Chairman Jimmy Chestnutt, said: ‘I am keen to strengthen our role in helping organisations make the connections they need to go or stay green.

‘That means further development of our clean tech clusters, by which we link companies with universities and other sources of help.

‘The cluster approach is a great way to help like-minded organisations work together to reduce their carbon footprint through energy efficiency and innovation.

‘I pay tribute to the work that Jimmy has done up to now in helping to build these connections and ensure the Solent region is recognised for its sustainability credentials.’

Board members of Future Solent include representatives from IBM, Southern Water, Sustrans, Hampshire Chamber, Bouygues UK, SSE, GEP Environmental, Portsmouth university and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.