'˜Key investment' as Portsmouth port gets new building

THE city council has bought a warehouse hailed as a '˜key investment' for the publicly-owned port.

Friday, 24th August 2018, 9:53 am
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:14 pm
Cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development Cllr Ben Dowling, left, and MMD general manager and director Steve Williams Picture: Portsmouth City Council

Portsmouth City Council yesterday announced the purchase of the former Neon Signs building, in Prospect Road.

Council-owned Portsmouth International Port will now expand its business, with the authority's MMD Shipping Services set to move in by early 2019.

Cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development Cllr Ben Dowling said: '˜This is a key investment in a strategic Portsmouth site.

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'˜This purchase will enable future growth of port related activities which will drive economic prosperity into the city for residents and businesses.'

It comes after the council announced a regeneration plan for MMD in a bid to match changes in the industry.

The 13,200 sq ft two-storey building is near the entrance to Portsmouth Naval Base and has office space on the first floor.

Portsmouth City Council confirmed the purchase is not linked to the port's need to plan for a no-deal Brexit, which could see it needing a plot of land to stack lorry containers.

Earlier this month port director Mike Sellers told The News a Brexit Working Group was drawing up plans to avoid lorries queuing on the M275 caused by a possible delay at the port due to new paperwork being needed.

Leading pro-Brexit MP Penny Mordaunt, who represents Portsmouth North and is international development secretary, said such a scenario would not happen.

MMD general manager Steve Williams said: '˜Our strategy to further develop MMD has taken another step forward, now a dedicated office site has been secured in a prime location.

'˜Our commercial and operational  team will be relocated into the new building, which means we can utilise terminal space more efficiently and safely.

'˜This marks an exciting development for the business, creating an improved working environment for our employees and clients.

'˜It also demonstrates to customers that we're seriously investing in the business across all areas, including the significant multi-million pound regeneration taking place on site.'