Local MP, Dame Caroline Dinenage, has joined 12 other Conservative MPs in adding her name to a letter from Maritime UK calling for the leadership candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, to prioritise the economic needs of coastal communities.
Maritime UK is the collective voice for the UK’s maritime industries, working to enable a thriving marine sector. The letter calls for the benefits that come from freeports, to be extended to the whole of the UK coastline, as well as ensuring that connectivity between the coast and the rest of the country is improved.
Despite attracting millions of visitors over the summer period, without additional intervention, many coastal communities are set to fall further behind than the rest of the country.
Caroline has always worked to support local business and enterprise, and has worked closely with Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) since its establishment in 2011 – aiming to develop sustainable economic growth and private investment in the Solent.
Commenting Caroline said:
“Our coastal communities, including my own constituency of Gosport, have been disproportionately affected over recent years.
“I want to ensure that both individuals and businesses in our local area feel supported and are not adversely affected over the coming months. It is therefore of the utmost importance that our next Prime Minister supports and drives an economic plan that targets our coastal communities.”
An extract from the letter:
“We look to the next Prime Minister to support and drive an economic plan that targets coastal communities. Areas that without intervention are set to lose at least 49 per cent of their young people.
“Maritime industries invest over £600m a year in the communities they are in, but there are actions Governments can take to strengthen the overall ecosystem for these businesses; by creating the right conditions to invest further, create jobs and opportunities throughout the UK.
“Freeports are already generating positive interest in more investment in coastal communities and would ask that you consider extending the benefits of freeports to the rest of the coast.”