Economic recovery and the future of the Southampton city-region: challenges and opportunities

Economic recovery and the future of the Southampton city-region: challenges and opportunities

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We were delighted to be joined by an accomplished panel to discuss economic recovery and the future of the Southampton city-region: challenges and opportunities.

Hosted by Cratus Southampton Director, Marlies Koutstaal, the webinar featured an accomplished panel comprising: 

  • Cllr Christopher Hammond, Leader of Southampton City Council 
  • Professor Mark Smith CBE, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton 
  • Steve Szalay, Operations Director of Southampton International Airport
  • Alastair Welch, Regional Director of Associated British Ports 

The panel acknowledged that significant challenges exist for the Southampton city-region. Steve Szalay provided the starkest warning – the collapse of Flybe had been seriously detrimental to Southampton Airport and planning permission for a runway extension was vital to ensure its survival.  

Other challenges discussed included a lack of government support to date for the return of the cruise industry.

However, the panel were keen to stress that there is much to be positive about: Southampton City Council are investing £1 billion to create a greener, fairer, and healthier city; the port is well placed to support the new ‘Global Britain’ post-Brexit; and the University of Southampton is delivering world-leading research in the fight against Covid-19, which is making a difference to lives around the world.

Much more was discussed including the UK City of Culture 2025 Bid and the focus within the city on decarbonisation. The event showcased the great things Southampton is achieving, and the City of Culture Bid will provide an opportunity for the community to galvanise around those achievements. 

This event was just the first of a series of activities that Cratus Southampton will be hosting to inform and support our clients, partners and our local authority network across the south coast region. If you would like to find out more about working with us please contact Louise Hingley.

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