Global consultants will help produce a master plan for post-coronavirus development and design concepts for Portsmouth international port.

The master plan will cover the entire port authority harbour area, including current market trends and growth forecasts.

The finalised document will reveal concepts for how the port could look, with design ideas ideas and suggestions for development.

Port director Mike Sellers said: “We’re poised for a dramatic transformation of the industry over the coming years, so now is an ideal time to scope out the role our port has to play in the economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic and also how the UK adapts to leaving the EU.

“We’re optimistic and have ambitious future plans, so what happens next has an impact locally, regionally and also nationally.

“We’re working with expert consultants Royal HaskoningDHV, who have experience managing some of the world’s most innovative and sustainable development projects, to investigate what our future could look like and how we can maximise opportunities.

“Building on the findings from our recent economic impact report, this next stage in our strategic development will look towards the next 20 years, focusing on our aims to become one of the most sustainable ports in the UK, adapting to the needs of our ferry and cruise customers, providing a vital catalyst for supply chains.

“Importantly, our role in the community and the city’s vision will also be a focus for the final plan.”

Ben Challier, maritime business director for Royal HaskoningDHV, added: “This work is perfectly aligned with our core values of providing sustainable and future-proof solutions.

“We are very excited to jointly deliver the masterplan that will allow growth and resilience to the port and knowing that it plays a pivotal role within the Portsmouth City Council community too.

“We will draw upon our leading role in the market as well as our experience in delivering numerous successful port masterplans, both within the UK and globally, in today’s challenging environment as the possibility of a Covid-induced recession and Brexit looms.”

Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: “This master plan will play a substantial role positioning Portsmouth as one of the UK’s leading ports.

“It’s vital that we complete this master planning exercise to coincide with the city’s local plan, so it forms part of a vision for the entire city and beyond.”