The Department for Transport (DfT), in partnership with ABP’s Port of Southampton, has hosted the UK’s first Port Economic Partnership (PEP), an innovative initiative to create stronger links between ports and Government to maximise long- term trade and economic growth. The Partnership was launched at an event at London International Shipping Week in 2019, on board the NLV Pharos lightship.
As part of its strategy, ‘Maritime 2050 – Navigating the Future’, launched in January 2019, the Government outlined the creation of Port Economic Partnerships as one way of creating a strong business environment for ports to thrive, in turn boosting trade and driving the national economy.
Areas that the Partnership focus on, include leveraging the maximum benefit from public and private sector investment and ensuring that planning processes are as efficient as possible. It is anticipated that this 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 focuses 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.
The UK’s first PEP saw 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.