A £70 million European Investment Bank (EiB) deal will 'sustain thousands of jobs across Southern England', it has emerged today.
Associated British Ports (ABP), which runs the Port of Southampton, has signed a £70m loan deal with EiB to help develop the UK's second biggest container terminal.
Catherine said: "This deal is a 'win-win' as it will boost growth by supporting international trade and help the local economy in Southampton.
"The reassurance this offers to local jobs is hugely welcome in the current climate."
The money will be used to help widen the channel to the container terminal, upgrade berths and install bigger cranes at the dockside.
Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President, has said the deal would improve container handling and also "sustain thousands of jobs across southern England".
Catherine added: "In the Parliament, we are starting work on the EU-US free trade deal and this news puts the port in prime position to benefit from an agreement."
It is estimated the Port of Southampton directly and indirectly supports around 15,000 jobs regionally and more than 21,000 jobs nationally.