The coronavirus crisis has made now the time to unite Dorset and Hampshire under the banner of the Central South, it is claimed.
Supporters of the campaign to promote a new regional identity say collaboration will be key to overcoming the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
They say businesses and other organisations are already getting behind regional campaigns to safeguard the future of infrastructure such as Southampton Airport.
Tim Hancock, chairman of Regen South, an action group drawn together by independent body Business South, said now was the time to unite behind the Central South banner.
“We all know we are heading for difficult times once the lockdown is lifted. Adopting the Central South identity will give us more leverage with the government and will make the assets of the region more visible at a time of national crisis,” said Mr Hancock, who is chairman of Terence O’Rourke, the Bournemouth based planning and design company.
arlier this year, representatives from across the private and public sectors in Hampshire, Dorset and the M3 corridor joined forces to promote all the region.
City councils in Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester united with Hampshire County Council, Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, Savills, Blake Morgan, Noviun Architects, Barker Mill Estates, Willmott Dixon, Barton Willmore, Southern Policy Centre, Whitehill & Bordon, Boyle + Summers, Lambert Smith Hampton, Terence O’Rourke and Southampton Airport in an initiative enabled by Business South.
The consortium was due to launch the Central South identity and encourage investment in the region by attending MIPIM, the world’s largest property event, in March. The spread of coronavirus put paid to that plan but the consortium is confirmed to attend in 2021. In the meantime, the hope is more businesses will get behind the Central South brand.
Leigh-Sara Timberlake, group chief executive of Business South, said: “Our shared values and vision for the region are going to be more important than ever as we pick up the pieces in the wake of the current crisis. Central South will help our voice to be heard in the coming months and years as we rebuild the regional economy.”
For details of how to get involved and use the Central South branding, contact firstname.lastname@example.org