NEGOTIATIONS over devolution in Hampshire worth £1.14bn are set to be reignited with four top-tier councils invited to meet with Government.

Leaders from Southampton, Portsmouth, Hampshire and Isle of Wight councils are being asked to discuss a pan-Hampshire deal.

Previous plans to create a £900m Solent Combined Authority collapsed in 2018 due to differing visions for the proposals.

A new deal put together for the county was delayed following Boris Johnson's resignation as Prime Minister, stalling negotiations with Government.

Now Hampshire County Council leader Rob Humby has said the county is a "genuine southern powerhouse" and working together could unlock £1.14bn of new investment over the next 30 years.

READ MORE: Government 'scrap' Solent super authority deal

He has urged his counterparts in Southampton, Portsmouth and on the Island to 'actively support and engage with the potential benefits'.

He said: It is imperative that we do not squander this opportunity to lay the strongest foundations for economic prosperity possible for our residents now and long into in the future.”  

He said: “We have always said that we want to achieve the most ambitious deal possible for the wider Hampshire area, and that the way to do that is collectively with our neighbouring unitary authorities.

"I am pleased that Government have recognised the importance of the whole region to potentially securing an additional £1.14bn of investment for our combined population of two million residents. 

“Pan-Hampshire is a genuine southern powerhouse, combining towns, cities, people, and businesses that are part of a nationally and internationally important economic area.

"A Pan-Hampshire County Deal would make a significant contribution to Hampshire’s economic prosperity.

"It would stimulate economic recovery, regeneration, and business growth across the Pan-Hampshire area, as well as the wider region, now and for the future – with the goal of making the Pan-Hampshire area better and stronger, and all the benefits this would bring to the people who live, work, and visit the area.”

Cllr Humby said a county deal would bring new powers for the area.

He added: "Drawing down more decision-making powers to the people and places of Pan-Hampshire through a County Deal from Government would empower our local areas - so we can all decide how to keep our area prosperous and thriving for years to come.  This is a once in a generation opportunity to bring far reaching benefits for our residents, communities and business – improving people’s lives for decades to come.”