Local developments - with Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

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Local developments - with Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

Posted By admin |18 Apr 2014
Local developments - with Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

In this special event, we met the leader of Portsmouth City Council and discussed local developments in our city. There are over £1.8bn worth of current investments in the city and Cllr Vernon-Jackson highlighted the main plans.

£400m is to be spent at the naval base and BAE systems to cater for the new aircraft carriers which will be based in the dockyard. Three times the size of the Ark Royal, a huge amount of infrastructure development will be required for secure moorings and dredging a new deep water channel out into the Solent. Maintenance will be required over the 40 year lifespan of these vessels and vital jobs will be secured in the city for that period too.

Other big schemes include the £600m city deal and £300m for the city centre scheme.

The city deal involves creating nearly 2500 new homes, 3500 new jobs and 50,000 sqm of business space around Tipner and the gateway to the city.

Re-routing traffic in the city centre and creation of the Northern Quarter shopping development is also on the cards again after taking a pause during the financial crisis. Compulsory purchase orders are timetabled for mid-2014, with a start on site in 2016/17 and completion of the project by 2018.

Flood defences, developments at The Hard and seafront and a proposed business park are also schemes of around £100m each. There's clearly lots going on!

£100m spent at The Hard will see the creation of 300 homes, 25,000 sqm of hotel space with a similar amount of office space and the creation of around 1800 jobs.

There's a huge investment in flood defences around our Waterfront City, with £100m being spent mostly around the northern end of the island, along with parts of Southsea. Areas behind the seafront are densely developed and are below sea level, increasing the urgency of the protection works.

In all, these schemes could create up to 11,500 new jobs, with 5000 new homes and a Gross Added Value to the local economy of between £700m and £1bn.

Behind the projects there is a plan to produce business growth and develop the skills of local people. In terms of growth, grants for business expansion will be available via the City Deal and high speed broadband plans to create a super-connected city.

The 'Silicon Beach Business Angels' scheme is to be extended to the Solent and trade missions to and from the city are planned to boost our economy.

Skills development schemes include an apprenticeship strategy and education and training groups. There will be a focus on matching skills with employer needs in the area and to encourage young people to train for jobs in growth sectors.

On behalf of JCI Portsmouth, the chamber team would like to extend a huge thank-you to Gerald for a very informative and entertaining evening.