A new deal has been signed by council leaders in Southampton and Portsmouth, in collaboration with the government. This deal will give the local councils access to funding which will be spent on developing much-needed new housing.
Leader of Portsmouth council Gerald Vernon-Jackson commented: “This deal is about the medium-term future. Although it is not an immediate response to the end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth, it will provide some help for workers who have recently been made redundant.”
This is not the first such city deal to be signed in the UK; there have been several others in the past. However, Southampton and Portsmouth are the first cities to sign a major joint deal on this scale. The deal has been in development for over a year and this is the final step towards achieving the goal of new housing, new jobs, and a valuable boost for local communities.
Portsmouth Council has already poured £24 million into infrastructure, supporting development both now and in the future. Construction of new houses will commence in the Tipner East area in 2014/15.
The Watermark WestQuay scheme in Southampton will transform an underused space in the city centre into an important destination, complete with a cinema, restaurants, retail units and public space. In the future, this development has the potential to expand into residential housing, with a tower containing up to 240 new apartments.