Solent Freeport Chief Executive


Job title: Chief Executive

Salary: circa £130,000

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The Solent, located at the centre of the south coast of the UK and just seventy miles southwest of London, is the UK’s global gateway. As a coastal region, we have always looked globally, welcoming the world to the UK, and helping outstandingly crafted British made products reach global markets.

The nations gateway is now becoming even more prominent as one of only eight regions in England selected by the Government to be a Freeport.

Freeports are an important part of the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery, and the Solent Freeport will unlock billions of pounds’ worth of investment, create tens of thousands of new jobs and level up our important coastal communities.

Areas designated by the government, Freeports will benefit from incentives to encourage economic activity and operate with both ‘tax’ and ‘customs’ sites. Tax sites offer occupiers business rates relief and other incentives to support capital investment, skills and employment. Business rates growth generated at the tax sites can be retained locally and reinvested in the area. Customs sites will help enable the tariff-free movement of goods for both export and import through simplified customs procedures.

We believe the Solent Freeport is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to maximize our geographic advantage in a highly competitive global market and forge new trading relationships with the world.

The Solent proposition, through links to three world-class universities and as host to national research assets, will catalyse an innovation revolution in maritime, autonomy and green growth.

The Solent Freeport Consortium has reached a significant milestone in submitting the Outline Business Case to Government for approval. It is now bringing forward an exciting opportunity to lead the Solent Freeport Board at this critical development stage and looking to recruit to the high- profile position of Chief Executive of the Solent Freeport.

The Role

The Chief Executive of the Solent Freeport is an incredibly exciting and important role, not just within the region, but nationally.

As our Chief Executive you will build on the rapid and significant progress we have made on the Solent Freeport proposition and our strategic direction, and collaborating with partners from across the public and private sector you will provide visible leadership to deliver the aspirations of our region and secure the economic benefits the Freeport will bring for years to come.

The Chief Executive will work in partnership with the Solent Freeport Consortium Limited Board to provide leadership, vision and strategic direction to the Solent Freeport Consortium Limited. The post holder will act as an ambassador for the Solent Freeport and wider Solent area to ensure it is fully engaged with its stakeholders and communities and fulfilling its role.

As Chief Executive you will build and maintain a strong and committed Executive Team to equip the Solent Freeport with expert skills and agile business acumen to relentlessly pursue brilliance. Alongside the Freeport Chair and the Board, the Chief Executive will develop the strategic direction of the Solent Freeport, utilising the expertise and knowledge of board members, Freeport company members and key local and national partners such as local government, government departments, business and academia.

At the core of the role, the Chief Executive will be responsible for ensuring the Freeport delivers on its commitment to be a national hub for global trade and investment; promote regeneration and job creation; and establish a hotbed for innovation.

The Candidate

As our new Chief Executive Officer you will play a critical role in delivering the Solent Freeports ambitious agenda, working at pace to deliver economic growth and development which is of national importance.

The Solent Freeport will occupy a unique role within the UK’s infrastructure and economic growth and therefore requires an exceptional Chief Executive who will deliver our strategic direction and identify opportunities for investment, using their technical and commercial expertise.

Consulting with government departments, landowners, major employers, investors and wider public and commercial organisations this role will call upon significant partnership working and commercial aptitude.

It is likely that the successful candidate will be able to point to a successful track record on delivering a Place making programme of a significant scale. Candidates may come from a range of backgrounds including, regeneration, infrastructure, and have worked in either the private or public sectors, where they will have gained significant experience working on capital programmes and the delivery of major development opportunities.

We are looking to appoint an inspirational leader with a passion for place making and an outstanding track record of success in delivering complex major regeneration and place-making schemes, coupled with the ability to work effectively and credibly across the public and private sector interface.

This is a high-profile role, working in a complex landscape and requires a skilled communicator, who can operate across a wide and complex set of stakeholders and draw others into the vision for the Solent Freeport.

For an informal and confidential discussion, please speak with our advisors at Berwick Partners.

Marek Dobrowolski
Partner, Lead Place, Regeneration and Partnerships
D: 0121 654 5975
M: 07793529576

Ruth Hernandez Turner
D: +44 121 654 5936