The UK government and the Port of Southampton have teamed up to launched the UK’s first Port Economic Partnership (PEP), a way of creating stronger links between ports and government in order to long-term trade and economic growth.
For the partnership, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) will work with ABP’s Port of Southampton to focus on leveraging public and private sector investment and ensuring that planning processes are as efficient as possible. The unique partnership was launched this week during an event at London International Shipping Week.
The creation of PEPs was outlined back in January as part of the launch of the UK’s ‘Maritime 2050 – Navigating the Future’ strategy, envisioning creating a strong business environment for ports which, in turn, will help trade and benefit the UK economy.
It is anticipated that the partnership will better facilitate ports’ investment in new freight-handling facilities and other infrastructure needed to grow trading volumes and maintain the UK’s position as a leading maritime nation.
“The Partnership will focus on ensuring that public and private sector organisations at local, regional and national levels, work together to enable improved links with our global trading partners, ready for a post-Brexit world where the resilience of our trading hubs is more critical than ever before,” ABP Southampton said in a press release.
The UK’s first PEP will see the Port of Southampton, the UK’s number one export port and Europe’s leading cruise turnaround destination, work closely with DfT to trial the concept.
“I am delighted to announce the first Port Economic Partnership with the Port of Southampton,” said Maritime minister, Nusrat Ghani. “This fantastic endeavour will be key to supporting the ambitions of Government, helping to cement the UK as a leading maritime nation. Not only this, but this project will also allow the Port of Southampton to drive sector growth, enhance its offer to customers and serve its local community.”
Alastair Welch, ABP’s Regional Director for Southampton, said: “We are proud and excited to be joining the Government in launching the UK’s first Port Economic Partnership. It’s great to see the Government put maritime at the heart of the nation’s economic future. This is another fantastic initiative capable of turbo-charging trade and boosting the nation’s exports.”