Isle of Wight Council has welcomed news that its joint bid for funding with Southampton City Council via the Solent Local Economic Partnership has been successful.

Both authorities submitted a joint bid to fund a regeneration project in Southampton and East Cowes to include new highways infrastructure and improved public spaces. As part of the project, Red Funnel will modernise and relocate the ferry terminals on both sides of the Solent.

With Government allocation of £14.95 million this money is to improve connectivity and increase capacity and unlock major employment sites on both sides of the Solent.

By moving the ferry terminal, a new town centre will be created in East Cowes with access to the waterfront. Funding also provides for a new floating bridge and improved highways infrastructure with cycling and walking routes.

Councillor Ian Stephens, leader of the Isle of Wight Council, said: “The investment announced for improved connectivity to the Island is critical for businesses and residents here and will unlock major growth opportunities for us.

We welcome the opportunity this project will bring to secure our connection to the mainland and improve our economy through an increase in the number of visitors to the Island.

I am also pleased at the benefits it will bring to East Cowes allowing us to bring new life to the town centre and create opportunities for investment and employment while improving the connectivity with West Cowes through the provision of a new floating bridge.”

IW Council will be working closely with Southampton City Council and Red Funnel to progress plans, with work due to start in 2015.