Portsmouth and Southampton have agreed a historic 'deal of two cities' with government, which will bring thousands of jobs to the area and pump millions of pounds into the local economy.
The cities' joint City Deal gives them special powers and access to new funds. This means they can develop crucial sites, provide training and boost local companies.
City Deals have been signed by many cities around the country, but Portsmouth and Southampton are the only ones to have made a joint deal.
Bringing jobs to Portsmouth
The deal is set to bring millions in public and private sector investment into the Solent area, creating more than 17,000 jobs. It is particularly aimed at the area's maritime, marine and advanced manufacturing sectors.
It will also:
- help 1,000 long-term unemployed people get back to work
- support workers recently made redundant
- help equip workers with the skills employers need
- help tackle youth unemployment
- support small and medium-sized businesses, as the area is more dependent on large employers than many other parts of the UK.
Part of the deal is that two major development sites will be 'unlocked' - at Tipner and Horsea Island in Portsmouth, and at Watermark West Quay in Southampton.
City leaders' reactions
Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: "This deal is a historic one. It is about the economic future of people in Portsmouth, Southampton, and the whole of the Solent area.
"We had to come up with a strong plan that the government felt was viable, and in return we have been given the ability to cut through red tape."
Leader of Southampton City Council, Cllr Simon Letts said: “This City Deal brings together key partners across councils, business and education, to create a scheme that truly works on a local level for Southampton, Portsmouth and the wider Solent area; to support our residents and businesses, and ultimately the future of our local economy.
“It will enable us to unlock the development potential of a key City Centre Master Plan project site, as well as giving us the opportunity to support our residents; offering them the right training for the right jobs, which in turn supports local businesses to be better equipped and more efficient to meet their future aspirations, and bring greater economic benefit to the Solent area.”
Solent Local Enterprise Partnership director, Gary Jeffries said: "The City Deal is not only a fantastic economic opportunity but a historic moment of co-operation between these two great cities for the benefit of the entire Solent area. It represents a genuine landmark and means we can now really capitalise on the huge growth potential of the Solent."
Developing Tipner & Horsea
Making land at Tipner and Horsea Island available for development will eventually provide 2,370 new homes and more than 3,700 permanent jobs.
Portsmouth City Council has already invested £24m in infrastructure in the Tipner and Horsea Island area to support current and future development. This includes building a new motorway junction, to provide access between the motorway and Tipner East, Tipner West and a Ministry of Defence firing range. This work will be completed in March 2014. Housebuilding will also begin at Tipner East in 2014/15.
Parts of the Tipner and Horsea Island area currently cannot be developed because of obstacles such as multiple land ownership, land that needs cleaning up, or a lack of infrastructure. The City Deal will transfer land from the Ministry of Defence to Portsmouth City Council and enable roads and other infrastructure to be built.
Follow the link for full details of the City Deal Sites work in Tipner and Horsea Island.
For more information, download the frequently asked questions document below.