Solent Partners celebrate 2023 successes boosting regional prosperity and sustainability

Solent Partners is celebrating the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) achievements of the past year. Committed to building on these to promote the collective prosperity and sustainability of the region’s economy in coming years, Solent Partners will ensure the progress made to secure recognition of, and a platform for, the region’s coastal economy is retained.

Solent Partners Chair Rachael Randall looks to future economic success for the Solent region.
Solent Partners Chair Rachael Randall looks to future economic success for the Solent region.

Rachael Randall said: “Solent Partners will develop the innovative work established by the Solent LEP with partners across all sectors to support businesses, develop talent, promote Net Zero, encourage inward investment, and grow the Solent’s sector strengths.

“We have worked closely with partners to deliver initiatives which champion economic prosperity across our region, and these extend far beyond the core LEP activities. This includes work to support sectoral strengths through the establishment of business-led organisations such as Maritime UK Solent and The Solent Cluster, and other programmes such as Skills Bootcamps, tailored business support, and our work to promote the digital, creative and cultural economy.

“We have listened to business and recognise the strong desire to retain a focus on the Solent economy to ensure that the distinctiveness of our great coastal economy receives the spotlight it deserves in a competitive investment environment.  We recognise the important role the Solent economy performs in the Central South region.”

Solent Partners has evolved from the LEP as a collaborative force incorporating services and initiatives which will continue to facilitate strong, targeted collaboration resulting in partnerships that bring synergy, creativity and invention to the Solent region.

2023 has seen a number of high profile and innovative projects and initiatives ranging from skills and careers to business support and partnership working opportunities, including:

  • The impactful Enterprise Advisers (EA) programme which links local businesses with education in the region to support young people with their skills development.
  • A ground-breaking new programme from the Solent Partners Careers Hub designed to encourage more children to ‘dream big’ about their future careers. The free Start Small, Dream Big webinars were held in primary schools in September as part of a Department for Education (DfE) Primary Fund initiative.
  • The new TechSolent partnership to promote business support within the technology sector of the region and developing tech skills among businesses, schools and the community.
  • Business clinics, growth programmes and mentoring opportunities have also been available to support those running a local start-up or SME businesses.
  • The launch of a series of Solent Skills Bootcamps with £1.2M funding from the Department for Education (DfE), giving employers and the self-employed the opportunity to retrain, upskill, and fill vacancies. The training programmes are offered to adults aged over 19 to help develop their career.
  • More than 4,630 students from local schools signed up for Solent Coding Day at the start of December, aimed at inspiring young minds to discover computer programming and follow career pathways in future technology. Students aged between 9 to 13 learned more about the exciting world of coding at the free interactive workshops.
  • The launch of the CREATE Solent platform, the first regional collective from CREATE Britain, a national organisation that brings together and promotes British design and creativity. It connects businesses and organisations with local creative professionals, fostering collaboration and promoting prosperity within the sector.
  • Further focus on the region’s significant cultural economy is underway through the development of the Solent Cultural Plan in collaboration with Arts Council England. The Solent Cultural Plan will define how to better support, stimulate and guide the region’s diverse creative communities, its talented workforce and local visitor attractions. Over 100 local cultural businesses, organisations and communities involved in arts and culture, heritage, creative industries, or culture-driven regeneration took part in workshops on developing the Solent Cultural Plan in December.
  • Solent Partners, as one of the founding partners was delighted to see a marked increase in the number of partner organisations in The Solent Cluster – making it the largest of it’s kind in the country. The Solent Cluster is a collaboration of industry leaders, global organisations, universities and local government working together to create a low carbon future that will benefit the local economy, the region and the UK. 

Rachael concluded: “The Solent Cluster is testament to our soft power, that we are the trusted, neutral, founding partner, sought by industry to progress a lower carbon economy in the South, and we are thrilled that Solent Partners has taken on that role from the Solent LEP. It is just one of the achievements from our work as the Solent LEP.

“This includes the delivery of nearly 14,000 new homes, 6,000 new jobs, skills support for over 22,000 new learners and nearly £1billion of additional investment – delivering tailored and business-led interventions to respond to the specific opportunities to grow the Solent economy.

“I know that, together, we will make sure the Solent economy secures the recognition it needs to play a critical role in the emergence of the Central South region and the growth of the UK economy, and I am very much looking forward to continuing to work in partnership across the region to attract investment and deliver initiatives which will benefit our local economy and communities for years to come.” Find out more about Solent Partners and stay up to date on what they have planned for 2024 by visiting our homepage.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.

Privacy Policy