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Clegg hints that region's economic fortunes could receive a boost
1:50pm Monday 18th February 2013 in News
NICK Clegg has hinted that good economic news could be on the horizon for the south.
But Mr Clegg signalled that the region’s prospects could receive a boost as part of the coalition Government’s new City Deals scheme.
Southampton and Portsmouth have launched a joint bid for the special status which grants power to direct £1.5 billion of Government-financed loans to help projects off the ground.
Promising a decision this week, Mr Clegg said: “If Southampton gets the City Deal it will have a great knock-on effect on jobs in the local area.
“Places like Southampton and Eastleigh would do better by having more power rather than being at the beck and call of Whitehall.
“That is a very Liberal Democrat way of looking at things.”
Southampton’s ‘Home of the Transit’ will close in July after 40 years with the loss of 500 jobs and what is estimated to be double that number in the supply chain and wider economy.
Mr Clegg said: “It is of great regret when any announcements are made but jobs are lost and created in our economy.
“The thing to do is to have people locally, MPs and councillors, who know how to exploit the advantages of the local area.”