Future Solent appoints Hampshire Chamber chief as Chairman

GOING GREEN. Stewart Dunn, the new Chairman of Future Solent (standing front, second from right), with, from left: Richard Hall, Programme Manager; Alex Parmley, Vice Chairman; and Anna Parry, Cleantech Cluster Development Project Manager. Joining them for a meeting at the Solent Hotel in Whiteley are representatives from the various Future Solent partners.

The partnership building a lower carbon economy in the Solent region has appointed a new Chairman.

Stewart Dunn will lead Future Solent as it continues to steer companies and organisations towards greener technologies and more sustainable business practices.

Mr Dunn, who is also Chief Executive of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said one of his key aims was to bring together more ‘like-minded’ companies to foster energy efficiency and innovation.

Since its launch in 2012, grant funding coordinated by Future Solent has seen 14 companies receive more than £1.1 million.

The partnership has helped to create more than 130 jobs in the low carbon sector and attracted £5.3 million in private investment.

Mr Dunn, who takes over from outgoing Chairman Jimmy Chestnutt, said: “I am keen to strengthen our role in helping organisations make the connections they need to go or stay green. That means further development of our clean tech clusters, by which we link companies with universities and other sources of help. The cluster approach is a great way to help like-minded organisations work together to reduce their carbon footprint through energy efficiency and innovation. I pay tribute to the work that Jimmy has done up to now in helping to build these connections and ensure the Solent region is recognised for its sustainability credentials.”

Mr Chestnutt said: “We have made substantial progress on our ambition to put sustainability at the heart of the Solent region’s economic success, but of course much still needs to be done. I wish Stewart and the whole Future Solent team well as they continue to grow our low-carbon green economy.”

Board members of Future Solent include representatives from IBM, Southern Water, Sustrans, Hampshire Chamber, Bouygues UK, SSE, GEP Environmental, the universities of Southampton and Portsmouth, the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, and PUSH, the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire.

Grant funding to eligible companies is distributed on behalf of Future Solent by partner Eastleigh Borough Council.