The Solent Freeport has appointed James Hassett as its first Chief Executive, who will take up the role in June 2023.
Brian Johnson, Chair of Solent Freeport, expressed his delight at Hassett’s appointment, highlighting his experience and successful track record in delivering strategic visions.
Hassett brings over 25 years of experience leading organisations in various sectors, including engineering, environmental, and public sectors. His skills and background are in sustainable development, regeneration, and economic development.
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The Solent Freeport was among the first UK freeports designated by the government in December 2022.
The Freeport is expected to be a hub for innovation, a national center for global trade and investment, and a catalyst for regeneration by creating high-skilled jobs.
“As the UK’s most important gateway to European and global markets, the Solent Freeport is an important investment in the region’s future with enormous potential to level up our coastal communities,” said Hassett.
“I am committed to working with partners, businesses and communities to ensure local people benefit from job creation and increased prosperity at the same time as delivering an internationally important Freeport.”
In April of last year, DP World resigned from the Solent Freeport Board and withdrew its partnership in the Freeport consortium.
The move from the global operator came after P&O Ferries – operated by DP World – sparked outrage when sacking 800 staff members during a video call in March 2022.