Strategic Partnerships

Over the past decade, our team has established a reputation for successfully delivering economic growth. Through our work securing and managing projects and programmes across the Solent valued at close to a quarter of a billion pounds, alongside unlocking key policy levers for the benefit of partners across the area, we have developed an in-depth understanding of the Solent economy and strong relationships across the public, private and academic sectors.

As Solent Partners, our team stand ready to work with strategic partners across the area that want to continue to draw on this expertise, experience and unrivalled convening power to build the future partnerships that will continue to enhance the prosperity of the Solent moving forward. Some examples of how our team have supported sustainable economic growth in the region to date are below. Please contact us to discuss how we can work with your organisation moving forward.

Our expertise

The Solent Partners has specific, independent and proven expertise in:

  • Writing bids for public funding and policy interventions
  • Corporate Governance and Convening Stakeholders
  • Delivery of targeted Business Support programmes
  • Designing and managing finance and funding support
  • Supporting Skills and Employability, including Careers Information, Advice and Guidance
  • Developing evidence bases and investment plans to support strategic investment across the area
Greenprint conference attendees

Examples of work across strategic partnerships to date

Solent Freeport

Across the Solent, our team led work to secure the designation of one of England’s eight Freeports. We convened relevant partners across the public and private sectors to build a consortium based approach that would maximise the areas chance of success in the national designation process, led the development of the technical business case required by Government to unlock the designation and its associated, funding and associated policy levers, and established the governance architecture to operationalise Solent Freeport. Now an independent company, the Freeport is well placed to deliver on its ambition to create 16,000 new jobs in the Solent and a further 16,000 UK-wide, it will unlock £1.6bn of private sector investment, over £0.5bn of retained business rates for local investment, and £225m of tax benefits to the private sector.

Business Support

The Growth Hub at Solent Partners is the first point of contact for individuals and businesses based in Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight needing free and impartial business support. We make the route to an answer as simple and straightforward as possible. We provide a range of valuable services to businesses at every stage of their journey – including peer to peer support, events, signposting, advice on funding and financing, and much more. Building on this, for partners that want to deliver more bespoke support for businesses, we work in partnership to deliver more targeted interventions – including the Fareham Start-Up Launch Pad in partnership with Fareham Borough Council, Havant Business Growth Programme, in partnership with Havant Borough Council and CREATE Solent, in partnership with CREATE Britain.

Funding and Investment

Our team has designed and managed a range of funding programmes from multi-million- pound capital projects to small scale start-up grants. Through various business support funds, our team has provided over £12m of funding to almost 500 businesses, leveraging a further £44m of private sector funding, creating over 1,000 new jobs and safeguarding over 1,200 jobs. In addition, we have managed capital infrastructure funds amounting to just under £200m, bringing regeneration, new development, new skills provision, sector support, and world leading innovation and science to the Solent.

Solent Enterprise Zone

Our team led the bid to establish the Solent Enterprise Zone on the Fareham / Gosport peninsula and bring an airfield that had been underutilised for decades into productive use. Through an over £80m investment programme, the area has been transformed to a hub of enterprise and world leading skills provision. A new state of the art colleges – CEMAST, an innovation centre, new industrial units, have coalesced around the rejuvenated airfield.

Economic Evidence Base and Investment Plans

Building on work leading the development of Solent 2050 as the overarching economic strategy for the area, we have worked with a range of partners across the public sector, private and academic sectors to develop bespoke evidence bases to secure future investment. This includes work with local authorities, such as the Isle of Wight, Gosport and Havant Borough Councils to develop Infrastructure Investment Plans for their respective areas, Portsmouth, Southampton and Solent Universities – to develop an independent evidence base to highlight the economic contribution of our Universities, and industry to strengthen the economic evidence base and investment plans in key sectors such as maritime, decarbonisation and the cultural economy. Our approach is both collaborative and independent – convening and consulting relevant stakeholders, alongside securing independent expertise, with a view to helping partners secure and target future funding interventions.


In partnership with the University of Southampton, University of Portsmouth, Partnership for South Hampshire and the New Forest National Park Authority, we led on the development and delivery of the inaugural Greenprint conference. Reflecting the objective of the Greenprint framework to enhance collaboration across sectors to achieve regional scale action to achieve a green recovery, we brought together individuals and organisations from across the region to hear from business, local authority and education leaders, and collaborate on the challenges and opportunities around the green skills agenda.

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