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UK economic boost expected as Portsmouth showcases sustainable port Masterplan

Terminal extension

Portsmouth International Port is looking beyond its boundary as it sets out an ‘ambitious sustainable future’ following the launch of its 20-year Masterplan on Wednesday 16 February, which is expected to generate £739m in ten years. 

Global engineering and project management consultants Royal HaskoningDHV undertook detailed market analysis and extensive stakeholder engagement to forecast changes in the trade and travel industry. 

Central to the plans is a focus on green recovery, as the port outlines its commitments to sustainability in a bid to become one of the UK’s most environmental ports. 

As a result the port has developed a Masterplan that will focus on:

  • expansion of port land to cater for increase in unaccompanied freight
  • extension of berth to cater for ships up to 300m
  • extension to 25m for ships exiting the port
  • creation of out-of-city pre gate and storage facilities
  • smart technology to manage cargo and passenger flow
  • sustainable infrastructure to manage alternative power demands
  • achieve net zero by 2030
  • facilitate a new electric ferry service 
  • upgrade facilities at international cargo terminal Portico
  • new Border Control Post 

The developments are expected to generate approximately £800m for the national economy by 2042 and secure over 11,000 jobs following a £92m investment.

Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port’s director said:

“There are dramatic changes facing the ports industry over the coming years, and we want to make sure we’re in the best position to play our role as a major UK port.

“We have a new relationship with EU, so that means adapting to shifts in freight operations and supporting our customers Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries.

“We’re proud to play our role as key workers, providing essential services and being a vital part of the supply chain.

“The cruise industry is expected to continue increasing in popularity and we want to be there to provide an premium service.

“However, we will soon be reaching our capacity.

“Our Masterplan identifies opportunities for crucial land, both close to the port’s boundary and beyond.

“The port is a significant contributor to the local and national economy,  which is why we need to look strategically at  developments to safeguard the port’s future and the value to the local community.

“This is an exciting position, with our focus to become one of the most sustainable ports in the UK and a drive to deliver a premium, bespoke service for customers that share our long-term aims to provide the right alternative power sources for all ships and how we can cater for the needs of the shipping industry in an environmentally focused way.

“We’re making space for a sustainable future and contributing towards elevating Portsmouth’s status as one of the UK’s leading marine and maritime cities.”

Out of city pre gate

The Masterplan has identified central themes, environment and sustainability, society and economy, resilience and security, innovation and technology. 

There will be a phased approach to projects, with the terminal building starting spring, running alongside the green initiatives such as an immediate win providing shore power for smaller ships by the summer. The port will welcome Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca this spring, which is powered by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and emits virtually no sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide or particulate emissions.  

Based on all the development in the Masterplan in ten years the local economy could see a growth of up to 89%, with Gross Value Add (GVA) at £357m, and the national economy with the same 89% rise to £739m.  By 2042 this will increase to £387m for local GVA and £801m nationally. 

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said:

“We’re proud to be the UK’s most successful municipal port and understand that to continue thriving we have to make sure we’re in the best position.

“The importance of the port is universally supported, which demonstrates how much it is valued as a vital contributor to the city.

“Over the coming years there will be a transformation of the port, with additional services and also the benefits from the Solent Freeport.

“This Masterplan is an optimistic, but realistic vision for the future of the port, it not only protects jobs but offers the opportunity for local people to be part of this vital industry for years to come.

Robert Courts MP,  Minister for Maritime at the Department for Transport said:

“Portsmouth has a rich, famous maritime history. As one of the oldest port towns in the country, it’s more important than ever that local residents and businesses shape the exciting future that lies ahead.

“I want to see more highly skilled, green maritime jobs right across the sector and today’s commitment will accelerate this vision.”

Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, said:

“This Masterplan looks to the future to help the UK’s trade and travel sectors thrive.

“Work is already underway to construct a brand new terminal extension, which has been made possible by a successful levelling up funding bid. This terminal transformation will provide showcase facilities and attract new customers to the city.

“The port also believes in being an environmental pioneer. These aren’t hollow platitudes either.

“Supported by experts in their field, the port has become a living laboratory for testing the latest environmental prototypes. It is determined to be net zero by 2030 and the UK’s first emission free port by 2050.

“This Masterplan also identifies opportunities from the country’s new relationship with the EU, and Portsmouth has a real chance to benefit from changes in trade that will promote the port as one of the UK’s leading marine and maritime cities.”

Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South said:

“Portsmouth Port’s success is our city’s success, so I am delighted to learn how it will continue to create thousands of jobs, support our local and national economy and deliver on its environmental objectives for many more years to come.

“The port’s new Masterplan offers an exciting and ambitious future for Portsmouth, supporting the next generation through good quality work at a key asset for our city, providing lifelong career opportunities for local young people to take pride in.

“The delivery of these plans will ensure Portsmouth International Port remains one of the prize assets of our city and the country that we can all be proud of. I look forward to continuing to support our port to ensure that happens.”

Portsmouth ferry and cruise

You can download a web-friendly PDF of the Masterplan here.