Solent Local Enterprise Partnership backs effort by Hampshire leaders to form combined authority

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A PANEL of business experts have thrown their support behind plans to create a Solent combined authority.

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership is helping leaders in their efforts to secure more powers from the government as part of a devolution deal.

Council leaders from the Solent region, including Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight, want to create a committee which will have control over a pot of government money to spend on improvements.

It follows the publication of a Strategic Transport Investment Plan for the Solent, which calls for money to be brought in to help transform the region.

Central to the LEP’s vision is the need for a ‘modern and resilient transport network’.

If the combined authority plan is approved, the government is expected to give the area £30m of extra funding each year.

Gary Jeffries, Solent LEP chairman, said: ‘An additional £30m per year investment in the infrastructure of our area has the potential to make a major contribution to business growth and productivity.

‘However, there is also an opportunity for the emerging Solent Combined Authority to align with the work of the LEP to have an even greater impact on the future of our economy.’