Associated British Ports has announced an agreement to acquire Solent Gateway Ltd, the operator of Marchwood Port on Southampton Water. The deal is focused on delivering the vision of the Solent Gateway, with ABP’s record of port operation and investment supporting SGL’s plans for development and job creation. Today’s agreement also paves the way for development that would also substantially upgrade Marchwood’s capabilities as a defence facility serving the Ministry of Defence.

With capability to support a range of vessels, 158 acres of space zoned for port-centric logistics and existing rail connectivity the Marchwood site has significant potential. It is also part of the Solent Freeport. SGL operates Marchwood under long term agreements with the Ministry of Defence and has existing planning permission for development.

Alastair Welch, ABP Southampton Regional Director, said:

“ABP’s involvement secures the investment SGL needs to realise the potential of the Marchwood site. We’ll be working with the SGL team to support their approved plans for development, supporting current jobs and delivering more skilled, well-paid jobs for the Solent region. The development of the site offers more opportunities and flexibility for new and existing users including, importantly, our Armed Forces.”

Richard Parkinson, Port Director, Solent Gateway Limited, commented:

“SGL has made tremendous progress to-date in converting the Port of Marchwood into a highly attractive commercial port full of potential, and have nurtured and secured a strong and positive relationship with key stakeholders including the Ministry of Defence. Underpinned with the most recent achievements in respect to both Planning and Freeport Tax & Customs status, we are excited to embark on the next chapter of development backed by ABP.”

Henrik Pedersen, ABP CEO, added:

“We are hugely excited about the strategic potential this new deal brings. It provides additional facilities and space in close proximity to the Port of Southampton, which will truly enable us to offer more solutions to customers and strengthen the region’s place as the UK’s most important export gateway, supporting jobs and industries throughout the UK.”

The Port of Southampton is already Britain’s biggest export gateway with the world, handling £71 billion of manufactured goods every year. Approximately £40 billion of these goods are for export, 90% of which are destined for markets outside the European Union

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