Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Solent maritime industries get Growth Deal cash boost

Portsmouth generic Image copyright Peter Triming
Image caption The new centre is aimed at developing hi-tech skills in Portsmouth's maritime sector

A new training and development centre for the maritime industries in Portsmouth is among projects set to benefit from a £27.1m government investment in Hampshire.

The Growth Deal cash comes on top of £124.8m announced in July last year.

A National Maritime Systems Centre of Excellence in Portsmouth would create up to 95 jobs, the government said.

Transport schemes in Southampton, Fareham and Gosport also feature in the announcement.

The £5m funding for the planned centre in Portsmouth is aimed at developing hi-tech skills in the marine sector.

A spokeswoman for Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said work would start on the new centre at the "earliest possible opportunity".

It follows the closure in 2014 of the city's BAE shipyard, which employed about 1,200 people.

A total of £15.8m has been earmarked for transport infrastructure work in Fareham and Gosport to help attract businesses to the Solent Enterprise Zone and support new housing at Welborne.

Funding is also being allocated for repairs to the Millbrook Roundabout in Southampton, intended to improve access to the city's Western Docks and allow the port to handle the new generation of container vessels.

The exact amount of funding for the repairs, as well as other skills and innovations programmes in the Solent area, has yet to be finalised.

The funding has been secured by the Solent LEP, comprising local authorities and businesses.

It is estimated it will create up to 1,000 new jobs and 1,000 new homes.

Gary Jeffries, chairman of the Solent LEP, said: "We are delighted that the government has backed our ability to deliver transformational growth locally by devolving funds to the area. "

The coalition government's Growth Deal is devolve £12bn of infrastructure spending from central government to the regions.

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