Government backing needed if Portsmouth to remain open for business, says MP

Stephen Morgan praises ‘Portsmouth Success Story’ as he visits new Linkspan at International Port

MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has called on Government to do more to ensure the city and its International Port continue to thrive on the global stage.

This comes as Mr Morgan joined Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP, to visit a new more efficient linkspan which has recently come into operation at Portsmouth International Port, the latest multi million pound investment in new facilities at Britain’s best-connected Port.

The linkspan, which is best described as a drawbridge for getting vehicles on and off ferries, is now in use at Berth 4 and was funded jointly by organisations including the EU and Solent LEP. 

The old linkspan was over 25 years old and had provided a smooth service for 40,000 ferry movements. Using the latest technology and despite being larger in size, the linkspan, part of an overall £9million project, is relatively more efficient than the structure it replaces.

This has made it eligible for a EU PECS (Ports Energy and Carbon Savings) grant. The project is receiving in excess of £500,000 in funding from the Interreg 2 Seas programme 2014-2020, which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Portsmouth International Port handles is the second largest cross-channel port in the UK with over 2 million passengers and over 250,000 freight movements each year. The Port also lands almost all of the UK’s banana imports.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“The Port’s success is well and truly Portsmouth’s success, and I’m proud that our city is home to the greatest municipal port in the country.

 As it’s owned by the council, the port helps fund local public services and boosted our council budget by £7.8 million in 2017/18 alone. I’ve made it clear to the Government that improvements to the Port are an investment in our entire city.

It’s now high-time for Central Government to follow the LEP and EU in promoting our success with hard cash – the Port is a proven engine for local growth, it deserves proper backing.

PIP is our city’s link to international commerce and is absolutely central to engagement in the global economy. That’s why programmes like the new linkspan are so important. The International Port is a real Portsmouth success story, but we need Government investment to make sure it continues to drive growth long into the future.”