COUNTY civic chiefs are to launch a £100,000 commission to establish and map out the future of the county.

Hampshire County Council will establish a cross-party commission to create a vision for Hampshire to 2050.

Evidence will be gathered from experts and an open call for evidence from the wider community with a specific focus on housing and infrastructure to inform of potential economic deals.

It will also cover the inter-related issues of demographic challenges; the economy, work, skills and lifestyle; environment and quality of place; mobility, connectivity and energy, and rural Hampshire.

Cllr Roy Perry, council leader, said the commission will help create a vision which will nurture continuing prosperity of Hampshire.

He added: “Our County, just like the country, is facing a time of rapid change which affects each and every one of us. 

“From the impact that the digital revolution will have on the way we work, to energy supply on communities, there are many challenges we need to address. 

“Ultimately, we want to secure a high quality and prosperous future for Hampshire’s next generations whilst continuing to enjoy an attractive environment.

“Which is why I believe it is important to set up this commission now, to hear residents views and to think through how to take advantage of investment opportunities in order to provide sustainable high quality public services long into the future.

“We want to hear from experts in their field, from business leaders, communities, academics, and most crucially, the county’s young people – who are Hampshire’s future.

“Hampshire is one of England’s great counties which is a significant contributor to the national economy, home to 1.3 million people and enjoys a unique natural environment.

“Our environment is arguably Hampshire’s best economic asset, which supports the quality of life we enjoy.” 

The Commission will take evidence during 2018 and early 2019, with a full report on the findings of the Commission presented to the County Council in the summer of 2019.