A NEW consortium has been set up to attract businesses and jobs to the Solent.

It will make sure development opportunities in Southampton and Portsmouth are promoted at MIPIM UK – the first UK property trade show to gather together all professionals looking to close deals in the UK property market.

Business associations, councils and Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will promote Southampton and Portsmouth as a great place to invest at the show in London in October.

It is hoped that by putting on a strong showing at MIPIM UK the consortium will get across all that this region has to offer, including its worldclass marine and aerospace sectors as well as opportunities in other sectors, including financial services and ICT.

More than 3,000 investors, developers, local authorities, occupiers, hotel groups, agents and business service providers are set to attend the event at Olympia from October 15 to 17.

The consortium is being coordinated by Business South. Partners so far include Hampshire & Regional, Aecom, Hammerson, Lakeside North Harbour, Lambert Smith & Hampton, Bouygues, Crest Nicholson, Capita, Roughton, Blake Morgan and Lucent. Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council are also both on board.

Business South’s chief executive Sally Lynskey said: “Of crucial importance to any investor considering a location is the ongoing investment planned in major infrastructure – the Solent LEP will be overseeing, in conjunction with local government partners, a major capital programme of investment in both transport infrastructure and further education facilities to ensure that the Southampton and Portsmouth region remains competitive and supports a productive economy and the development of a skilled workforce “MIPIM UK represents a great opportunity to showcase all that makes our region a great investment prospect.”

Guy Wells, development manager at WestQuay shopping centre developer Hammerson, said: “There is a significant amount of public and private sector investment going into Southampton at the moment, which highlights growing confidence in the region.

“MIPIM UK is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to existing and potential occupiers the major investment activity in the region and the opportunities to benefit from Southampton’s talented workforce and growing consumer base.”

Southampton City Council’s director of place Stuart Love added: “Southampton is a radically changing, evolving and developing city and economy. We have ambitious plans for the growth and success of Southampton and want to attract the biggest and brightest to become part of the future of our city. We feel that by showcasing the extensive opportunities available both now, and imminently, within the city at MIPIM UK we will find a raft of equally ambitious and enthusiastic partners to share in our joint future.”