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Solent LEP chooses representative for Solent Freeport

By Karolina Skinner
12 July 2021

Paula Swain (pictured) has been announced as the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) representative on the Solent Freeport Consortium Board. 

Swain said: "The Solent LEP is committed to working closely with the Solent Freeport to maximise the benefits the Freeport will bring to the local community and local economy, creating jobs and boosting investment. There's an enormous opportunity here to harness new approaches and initiatives to help us achieve our ambition for the Solent to lead the UK's coastal renaissance."

The Solent is one of eight regions in England selected by the Government to be a freeport. Freeports are an important part of the UK’s post-covid economic recovery, and the Solent Freeport will unlock billions of pounds’ worth of investment.

Swain said: "I'm excited to represent the Solent LEP as the Solent Freeport develops, creating quality employment opportunities, and realising the potential to revitalise our coastal communities."

About The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) 

The Solent LEP is a locally-owned partnership between businesses and local authorities and plays a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs.

The Solent LEP is led by the business community and supported by three university partners, the further education sector, three unitary authorities, eight district councils, one county council and the voluntary and community sector – all working together to secure a more prosperous and sustainable future for the Solent area.

The Solent LEP board chair is Brian Johnson, with SJ Hunt as the deputy chair. The Solent LEP chief executive is Anne-Marie Mountifield.

Paula Swain joined the Solent LEP board in June 2018. 

About the Solent Freeport

Establishing the Solent Freeport will create 52,000 jobs across the UK, and enable the UK and the region to capitalise on the Solent's geographic advantage in the highly competitive global market following Brexit.

The Solent already contributes £31 billion to the UK economy per annum. Freeport status will add an additional £3.57b to UK plc through the GVA uplift, including £1.97b in direct GVA in the Solent and £1.6b in the wider UK supply chain.

It will act as a magnet for an estimated £2b of extra investment comprising £1.4b from the private sector and £600m in complementary public sector investment.