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Charters predicts freeport announcement will prompt surge of relocations to the city

5th March 2021

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04/03/21, Southampton, UK: Charters, the south coast’s leading estate agents, has heralded the Chancellor’s decision to back the £2 billion Solent freeport plan pointing to a wave of economic and employment opportunities that look set to follow, with relocation to the region a welcome consequence.

Since Southampton-born Rishi Sunak announced during the budget that the city would be home to one of just eight nationwide freeport sites, there has been widespread speculation of a new era of investment into our communities and businesses.

Submitted by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Southampton’s freeport plan was one of over 30 bids. There are currently some 80 freeports across the EU, but none since 2012 within the UK. Worldwide, over 66 million people are employed in them, bringing substantial opportunities to less economically privileged areas. Supporters of the freeport model argue that more favourable customs rules, planning policies, taxes and reduced red tape dramatically increases local manufacturing, employment and investment to areas that wouldn’t otherwise benefit.

Since freeports will make it easier and most cost-effective to do business, the decision to award the bid to the Solent LEP, will undoubtedly have a significant effect on the city’s long-term commercial viability – and its appeal to those considering making it a future base.

‘We’re naturally delighted with reports that 50,000 new jobs may be created by the Solent freeport plan,’ revealed Rob Mott, Chairman of the Charters Group. ‘A direct by-product of this level of investment in our city will be the numbers of people who will now view Southampton as an even more attractive place to relocate to.

‘Fortunately, the city is well-placed to accommodate the predicted influx of new workers from sectors such as maritime, logistics, defence and science and research who are likely to be first to invest in the region. The Charters Southampton branch, with its award-winning portfolio of property services, and which is the latest addition to our network of offices, is superbly positioned to support prospective buyers as they make their move to the city.’

New Forest District Council leader Cllr Barry Rickman is a member of the Solent LEP board and echoed Charters’ assertion that the freeport plan will be fundamental to the long-term sustainability of the Solent area.

‘As a coastal area, we have communities that have been very badly impacted by the pandemic,’ he said. ‘[This] news represents an opportunity for us to start to recover and create much needed new jobs in those areas.

‘Over the longer-term, we see the Solent Freeport as an investment in all our futures that will enable us to secure investment in new technologies, sectors and environmental innovation. We look forward to working with government over the coming months to further develop the Solent Freeport for the benefit of our local businesses and communities.’

For more information about Charters or to contact the Southampton branch team, please call 02382 544 544.

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