THE Solent area could become the UK capital for “coastal renaissance”, a new strategy says.

Nearly £142million has been pumped into local projects via the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the body’s annual general meeting heard.

The LEP has produced a strategy, Solent 2050, which sets out its ambition to have the UK’s most thriving coastal economy. It also wants to the area to pioneer the response to climate change and be a global leader in developing people for the economy of the future.

LEP outgoing chair Gary Jeffries, chief executive Anne-Marie Mountifield and deputy chair Brian Johnson said the Solent 2050 document was designed to strengthen its position as a global centre of excellence.

Mr Johnson said: “The Solent 2050 Strategy was the lead topic throughout the AGM and saw everyone commit to setting a future economic agenda which shapes the place we live in and make it better for future generations. We’re focusing on a strategy for the next 30 years which will centre on building skills, training and infrastructure ensuring the Solent is prosperous and competitive in the future.”

The LEP shared its annual report with members ahead of publications and updated them on investments during 2019.

Milestones included:

n The start of work on the National Maritime Systems Centre at Fareham, to which the LEP contributed £5m.

n The opening of Fareham College’s £4.1m Civil Engineering Training Centre.

n The opening of Southampton Solent University’s Warsash Maritime Academy, supported by a £7.5m grant from the LEP.

n A grant of £35.5m towards the Stubbington bypass on the Fareham and Gosport peninsula.

n A £5.7m LEP grant towards the A326 in the New Forest.

n £26m from the Department of Transport for the Isle of Wight’s Island line.

The LEP funded more than 300 small and medium sized businesses, it said.

Gary Jeffries stood down as chair after six years term and Brian Johnson is in the post until a permanent replacement is elected.

Consultations for anyone with an interest in the Solent 2050 Strategy are being held through workshops, meetings and an online survey. Register at