ABP’s Port of Southampton has launched the UK’s first Port Economic Partnership (PEP) with the Department for Transport (DfT).
PEPs were outlined as one way of creating a strong business environment for ports to thrive as part of the Government’s ‘Maritime 2050 – navigating the future’ initiative, launched in January 2019.
The PEP will focus on leveraging the maximum benefit from the public and private sector investment and ensuring that planning processes are as efficient as possible.
It aims to better facilitate ports’ investment in new freight handling facilities and other infrastructure needed to grow trading volumes.
Alastair Welch, ABP’s regional director for Southampton, said: “It’s great to see the government put maritime at the heart of its future.
“This is another fantastic initiative capable of turbo-charging trade and boosting the nation’s exports.”
To enable improved links with global trading partners, the partnership will focus on ensuring that public and private sector organisations at local, regional and national levels work together.
The Port of Southampton will work closely with DfT to trial the concept.
Nusrat Ghani, the UK’s maritime minister, said: “This fantastic endeavour will be key to supporting the ambitions of the Government, helping to cement the UK as a leading maritime nation.
“Not only this but the project will also allow the Port of Southampton to drive sector growth, enhance its offer to customers and serve its local community.”