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Long Harbour appoints leasing agents for commercial element of Fawley Waterside, Europe's first purpose-built smart town

26 January 2023

Long Harbour, the specialist real estate investment, development and management firm, and Fawley Waterside, the company behind a £2.3bn development of the same name, have appointed international property advisers Savills and Colliers as leasing agents for the commercial elements of the project.

Located in close proximity to the New Forest National Park and the Port of Southampton, Fawley Waterside is Europe’s first purpose-built net zero smart town, built from the ‘internet-up’, with world-class 5G connectivity and a city-wide IoT system.

Fawley Waterside is part of the Solent Freeport, one of the UK’s newest freeports, offering a huge package of benefits to companies including business rates and tax reliefs, customs advantages and planning, trade and investment support.

Savills and Colliers will focus on these benefits as they market Fawley Waterside’s commercial element, a 1.5 million sq. ft. life science and technology focussed campus. The site also offers occupiers bespoke design and build opportunities that will help them to meet exemplar corporate ESG goals. The location could also assist occupiers’ digital transformation through having access to the smart town’s exceptionally rich data stream and partnership with the UK’s Catapult Network.

There is an opportunity to become part of The Solent’s thriving local economy which is ranked as one of the UK’s leading maritime clusters, accounting for 8% of the UK’s entire maritime industry. Strategically, the Solent is shaped by a growing Digital Tech, Life Sciences and MedTech sector with access to a highly educated workforce feeding into the regions wider ecosystem of knowledge exchange and enterprise. The nearby Port of Southampton is already the UK’s No. 1 export port and No. 2 import port and the recent confirmed Freeport status is designed to further boost trade, employment and innovation.

Aldred Drummond, Chief Executive, Fawley Waterside, said:

“Fawley Waterside offers a unique opportunity to locate within the Solent Freeport, enabling companies to take full advantage of the highly favourable tax status, world-class digital connectivity and access to the sea.

“The area is already renowned as a world-class marine, life sciences and technology cluster, with the campus at Fawley Waterside and the wider Solent Freeport set to take this to the next level by attracting an additional £2bn and 50,000 new marine, science, research, logistics and defence jobs into the region.

“Fawley Waterside will be the ultimate live, work and play destination as one of the most beautiful small towns in England, incorporating a thriving and prosperous commercial heart.”

Martin Hastelow, Director, Savills Southampton adds:

 “Savills is delighted to be involved in such a forward-thinking development, that builds on the existing strengths of the area and will provide opportunities for regional, national and international occupiers with a range of on-site amenities.”

Michael Hawkins, Head of National Office Agency and Development UK Regions at Colliers said:

 “The Solent Freeport is one of the most well-connected gateways into the UK. The tax incentives of freeport status, makes it an ideal location for businesses looking for skilled talent and high-quality, sustainable assets. What is most exciting is the ability for the vision to become reality, working with Fawley Waterside and Long Harbour in creating a stimulating, cohesive sustainable project in the South of England. This will be the most vibrant community and an exemplar of how a new town community can be delivered in the whole of Europe in a post-pandemic era.”

The attractiveness of the area has recently led to a cross-sector collaboration of international organisations to announce the launch of The Solent Cluster, to advance carbon capture and storage and hydrogen technology. Fawley Waterside has joined founding members Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, ExxonMobil and the University of Southampton, alongside some forty partners from a range of sectors including logistics group DP World, Southampton Football Club, British Airways, cruise line Carnival and Airbus, to progress the project.

This initiative positions the Solent at the centre of low carbon fuel production in the UK, ready to make a major contribution to the country’s Net Zero ambitions by 2050. The project could capture approximately three million metric tons of CO2 every year.

Fawley Waterside has been endorsed as a ‘Future City’ by the UN’s Smart Cities programme and listed in the Top 50 Sustainable Opportunities within the UK, as part of the UK Government’s Global Investment Summit.

The development is one of the largest brownfield sites in Southern England with excellent connectivity to UK rail and road networks. A dock, linked to Southampton Water, is located centrally within the site.

Property Week