Fawley Waterside aims to be one of the first net zero smart towns in Europe; spread over 400,000 square metres, it will sit inside the proposed Solent Freeport.
Fawley Waterside offers an opportunity to invest up to £200 million equity in a £2 billion new town that combines a science and technology park with long-term residential assets. The site is located in a national park along 3 kilometres of pristine coastline.
Capital investment - real estate
(Greener buildings, Residential, Mixed use, Science & innovation, Retail, leisure & creative, Industrial & logistics, Offices)
£2 billion GDV
Outline planning obtained
Time to Final Investment Decision (FID):
Sector and market opportunity
The science and technology park will target sectors including marine technology, smart cities, and advanced manufacturing.
Fawley Waterside closely aligns with the UK government’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, and the policy on new freeports.
The project includes 200,000 square metres (sqm) of residential space overlooking the sea, a harbour, and a canal.
The proposal also includes more than 200,000 sqm of commercial space, comprising:
- industrial space (125,000 sqm)
- office space (46,500 sqm)
- retail and civic space (18,500 sqm)
- a hotel (8,000 sqm)
- a marina
This opportunity is suited to a long term (10 years plus) real estate equity investor that shares the project’s vision and ambition. Niche investment opportunities may also be available for specialist investors. These could include:
- private rented sector (PRS)
- affordable housing
- marina development
Fawley Waterside is in the New Forest National Park, an area of outstanding natural capital.
It is easily accessible from Southampton, a leading economic hub with:
- global assets (including Southampton Port)
- world-class marine and technology clusters
- good transport connectivity
- major public sector investment plans including £600 million on local infrastructure
The area would benefit from the potential creation of Solent Freeport which is forecast to add £2 billion gross value and create 52,000 jobs.
The project is 30 minutes’ drive from Southampton and 1 hour 45 minutes’ drive from London.
Strong transport links with the rest of the UK and Europe include:
- the M3/M27 motorway to London and Portsmouth
- 2 rail stations (Southampton Central, Southampton Airport Parkway)
- Southampton International Airport
- Southampton Port (the UK’s main port for cruise ships)
Local talent and skills
Fawley Waterside has forged excellent relationships with local government and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.
About 30,000 students graduate from local universities every year, of which 50% are in STEM, marine, and technology fields.
Southampton is one of the biggest technology super-clusters in the EMEA region, and has a very high concentration of tech firms. Maritime represents 20% of the Solent’s economy and jobs.
Local employers include ExxonMobil and ABP.
Research and expertise
Fawley Waterside is collaborating with leading universities and establishments, including:
- the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure & Cities (UK CRIC)
- University of Southampton
- Solent University
- University of Portsmouth
Their shared aim is to:
- connect tenants with talent pipelines
- incubate university spin-out companies
- support research in areas such as sustainability and smart technology
A consortium of technology leaders is also working on the Fawley Waterside ‘smart town’ project, including Cisco, Siemens, Vodafone and IBM.
South of England
The region is home to 21 million people. It offers opportunities across a wide range of sectors from nuclear and aerospace, to life science and new technologies. There are vibrant clusters of expertise spanning 5G, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
The Catapult programme is a network of not-for-profit technology and innovation centres that encourage UK businesses, scientists and engineers to work together. Fawley Waterside is working with the following 5 Catapults to propose an on-site Catapult Quarter:
- Connected Places
- Energy Systems
- Satellite Applications
- High-Value Manufacturing via its National Composites Centre subsidiary
The new Quarter would give businesses access to cross-disciplinary networks. Collaboration will be carried out physically and virtually, with the Catapults providing technical expertise, access to R&D facilities, and guidance on export routes.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) highlights
Fawley Waterside’s approach to net zero and sustainability has been inspired by One Planet Living, a framework created by Bioregional and developed with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Key targets include:
- net zero operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 2035
- a 36% biodiversity net gain
- 4,000 jobs on-site by 2040
- 35% internalisation rate to reduce the use of vehicles
Promoters and partnerships
Long Harbour is a London-based real estate and asset-backed investment manager. It bridges the gap between illiquid asset classes and institutional investors seeking to deploy capital in long-term, income-generating assets.
The company has invested more than £2.5 billion across residential and commercial real estate. It is institutionally backed and is an AIFM and FCA-regulated manager.
Savills is acting as an equity placement agent.
Local and national government support
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership has awarded the project:
- £5.7 million towards road improvements
- £750,000 towards an ultrafast fibre connection
The promoter is in discussions with Homes England to secure £50 million in infrastructure funding and has applied to the UK government for £5 million in freeport seed funding.
Bids have been submitted to the Department of Transport for:
- reopening the Fawley railway (Restoring Your Railway Fund)
- £140 million to make the local A326 road a dual carriageway (Large Local Majors Fund)
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