Chancellor tours the ABP Port of Southampton

February 3, 2015

Above (L to R): James Cooper, Chief executive ABP, Chancellor of the Exchequer the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Stuart Cullen, Solent Stevedores Chairman, Nick Ridehalgh, ABP Director Southampton.

Chancellor of the Exchequer the Rt Hon George Osborne MP visited ABP’s Port of Southampton to see first hand the vital role it plays in supporting the UK economy.

The Chancellor was given a guided tour of the port’s Canary Island Fruit Terminal and a grain terminal by ABP Chief Executive James Cooper and ABP Director, Southampton, Nick Ridehalgh.

During the visit they discussed the threat of the proposed EU Port Services Regulation and explained the importance of ensuring Marine Conservation Zones do not affect the ability of ports to continue to grow and serve the economy.

The Chancellor’s visit came as he announced £27m of investment into Hampshire’s roads and infrastructure.

Excellent road and rail links are a cornerstone of the Port of Southampton’s success. Southampton, which is the UK’s leading vehicle handling port, the country’s most efficient container port and Europe’s leading turnaround cruise port, supports 15,000 jobs and generates around £1 billion for the economy.

ABP Chief Executive, James Cooper, said: “It was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to the Chancellor the critical role the Port of Southampton plays in supporting the growth of the UK economy.

“It’s an essential gateway for businesses to access global markets, whether that’s vehicle manufacturers shipping UK built cars to the US and China or farmers selling grain to Germany for beer production, as he saw first hand.

“We also took the opportunity to discuss issues around policy proposals from Europe that present a real hazard for the UK ports industry.”

Southampton is one of a network of 21 UK ports owned by ABP. Nationally, together with its customers, ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy and supports around 84,000 jobs. ABP’s 5-year investment programme is worth £837 million and will deliver an extra £1.75 billion to the UK economy every year.