The next big VIP Project, identified in Southampton City Council’s City Centre Master Plan, is starting.
Early research, which will help to identify and shape the plans for Itchen Riverside, will start next week with a survey of businesses within the project area.
The River Itchen area is a vitally important hub for the Solent’s marine sector and is a crucial centre for the future economic development of Southampton.
The object of the survey is to help us understand the type and nature of local businesses and identify their current and future needs.
The information gathered from this survey will be used alongside other research and investigations of the area, to ascertain the potential to regenerate the area and to inform future planning policies and employment initiatives.
The survey will consider questions such as: why did you decide to locate in the River Itchen area and what specialist infrastructure or facilities do you have access to?
Toby Warren, an economic development specialist, who has local knowledge of the area, will be undertaking the survey on behalf of the council, and will be speaking with a sample of 550 identified businesses within the study area.
The research process will close, and all surveys should be completed and submitted by 21 March 2014.
Councillor Simon Letts, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: “I’d like to assure resident and businesses in the Itchen area that we will be carefully considering their needs when preparing our plans for the regeneration of the area. We are already marketing the former Town Depot site and working with other landowners in the area to consider opportunities as well as improved infrastructure and flood defences. There will also be consultation with stakeholders once initial plans are drafted.
“I hope that in the long term the sites in this area can be brought forward for new marine business uses, whilst continuing to support existing businesses, and to provide good quality housing and improved access to the riverside, as identified within the City Centre Master Plan. Development of this area and the creation of a new neighbourhood here, will greatly improve the offer that Southampton currently provides, while extending our economic potential and enhancing our status as a centre for marine excellence in the UK and internationally.”
Press Release, February 27, 2014