Shaping the future of the Solent

A workshop on integrating the natural environment with urban coastal living.

Phil Deacon recently attended the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (SLEP) workshop at Lakeside, Portsmouth to share ideas and brainstorm on the future growth and prosperity of the Solent region.

The workshops focused on the development of the SLEP Industrial Strategy through to 2050 which includes coastal communities anchored around the Isle of Wight, the two cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, the M27 corridor and the Solent waterway.


The unique challenges of this coastal environment provide opportunities to deliver a number of innovative masterplanning solutions that as landscape architects we can play a key role. Integrating the built environment with the natural environment is what we are passionate about and the SLEP workshop has provided a platform for us to engage with like-minded disciplines and local decision makers.

It was very interesting to learn that £1.5 billion is generated each year by creative industries in the SLEP region. A significant amount of our portfolio sits within the SLEP region too, so it felt inspiring to be able to engage with like-minded disciplines in the private and public sector.

The key themes of our discussion centred around:

  • Innovative flood management solutions integrated with the built environment.
  • Enhancing connectivity across the region in a sustainable way.
  • Safeguarding its natural resources along the coastline and the National Parks that wrap around the SLEP region.
  • Attracting top talent while securing the well-being of our coastal community for future generations.

To summarise Stuart Baker – Head of Local Growth at Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) quoted the Portsmouth FC owner Michal Eisner (ex-Disney CEO), “We have all the ingredients for a world class sustainable coastal community and just need to work together to deliver this.”

We look forward to taking part in future workshops.

Find out more about the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.