The Military of Defence has announced that Solent Gateway Limited is the preferred bidder to manage and develop the commercial potential of one of their military ports.
Under the contract – which is yet to be signed – Solent Gateway is expected to take over the running of Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre near Southampton in Autumn 2015, with the aim of generating profits from the 91-hectre port.
The company has been chosen following a lengthy tendering process that began in May 2014.
The new port operator is also expected to provide a deployable Reserve capability, as part of the Army’s Total Support Force.
Of the decision to sell the port, defence minister Philip Dunne said: “Maximising the commercial potential of the port will bring financial benefits for years to come, in terms of both profit share and the reduction in the cost of services to the Army.
“In addition, the deal will bring benefits to the local community, including safeguarding existing jobs and creating new jobs.”
According to the MoD, a period of final engagement with Solent Gateway Limited will now take place, and the new operator will be confirmed once the contract has been signed.