THE search is on for a someone to lead the Solent Freeport project aimed at creating tens of thousands of jobs.

The Solent Freeport Consortium is recruiting for a chair for the project, whichy supporters have said could generate 25,000 local jobs.

Alastair Welch, director of Solent Freeport Consortium Ltd, said: “We believe the Solent Freeport is a once in a lifetime opportunity to maximize the UK’s geographic advantage in a highly competitive global market and forge new trading relationships with the world.

“It will unlock billions of pounds’ worth of investment and create tens of thousands of new jobs, transforming productivity in the Solent which will level up our important coastal communities and benefit the whole of the UK.

“We are now bringing forward an exciting opportunity to lead the Solent Freeport Board at this critical development stage by recruiting an influential business leader who can act as a champion for the Freeport’s economic success to the high-profile position of chair of the Solent Freeport,” he added.

Solent is one of eight regions which have been selected by the government to become freeports, where importers and exporters receive relief from tax and red tape.

The idea was championed by Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak as a way to boost international trade in the wake of Brexit.

The freeport consortium says arrangements with the government are being finalised.

The chair of Solent Freeport will be tasked with leading strategic direction for the project and securing the economic benefits.

The chair will be expected to put in the equivalent of two days a week on average for £12,000 a year.

Solent Freeport is also looking to hear from those seeking voluntary non-executive chair positions.

Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, which submitted the free application, has said it expects more than £2billion to be invested in the region under the plans, creating 52,000 jobs of which more than half would be local.

Applications are open until Monday, November 1.

Details are at solentfreeport.comkl