The Solent's ambitious bid for Freeport status has been confirmed by the government in the 2021 budget. This bid, led by the Solent LEP, includes both Portsmouth International Port, and also Dunsbury Park, a major business park owned by Portsmouth City Council adjacent to the A3.
Mike Sellers, port director at Portsmouth International Port said:
"Our combined efforts across the region have shown the power of the Solent as a Freeport. We are pleased that our aim to create a Freeport that focuses on green ambitions has been recognised. Now we have been selected, we can work with our partners on developing our plans further.
"We’re ready to help UK trade recover and grow. The hard work begins now."
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said:
"We are encouraged by today’s announcement that the Solent has been chosen as one of England’s first eight Freeport sites. This will be a boost for our local community, with the opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and develop careers.
"Portsmouth provides the necessary facilities, with the port already established and Dunsbury business park in Havant as a shovel ready site, which means a Freeport will thrive straight away."