Work starts to bring growth to Solent Enterprise Zone
Plans to bring thousands of jobs to South Hampshire have taken a further step forward as improvement work has begun on the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus.
Just a few weeks after planning permission was granted to unlock the site for major development which will deliver up to 3,500 jobs for the Enterprise Zone, work is already under way to improve access to the site and boost water and electricity infrastructure.
Around £1.6m will be invested by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in this first phase of activity, which partners say marks a vital step in attracting new businesses and investors to the site.
Contractors are currently transforming the old emergency access point near Gosport Road into a new permanent access point with its own junction and access road. Once complete, they plan to do the same at the access point off Broom Way. In addition, Portsmouth Water and Scottish and Southern Electric have been appointed to carry out the initial phase of bringing water and electricity to the site. Currently, the Enterprise Zone at Daedalus is served by an old Ministry of Defence utilities system, which will need to be replaced to service the scores of businesses that are expected to set up on the site in coming years.
Talks are also under way to bring super fast broadband to the site and real estate firm DTZ has been appointed to market the site to potential tenants.
Gary Jeffries, director of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is responsible for delivering the Enterprise Zone, said: "It is incredibly exciting to see this project beginning to take shape through the new access points. The work that is taking place now is laying the foundations for a world-class advanced manufacturing centre that Hampshire and the UK can be truly proud of."
Kevin Bourner, the HCA's head of area, added: "This phase of work marks the vital first step in attracting more businesses and investors to the site. Our £1.6m investment into phase one and the speed at which it is taking place is further proof of our commitment to making the Solent Enterprise Zone a huge success for South Hampshire."
Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council and Chairman of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH), Councillor Seán Woodward, said: "The success of the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus relies upon the commitment and investment of the Homes and Communities Agency advised by PUSH to ensure that the site is attractive to the market place. I welcome the start of works that mark the first solid evidence that this vital business opportunity is underway and will bring growth and jobs to Fareham and Gosport and indeed to the South Hampshire economy. The fact that the site is now receiving the infrastructure investment it deserves sends a strong signal to the markets that we really mean business."
Councillor Mark Hook, Leader of Gosport Borough Council, added: "I am absolutely delighted that work has now begun on Daedalus. The Gosport peninsular has enormous potential and the Enterprise Zone is another step forward in the continuing regeneration of our Borough."
The Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus is one of 24 set up nationally to support local economic and employment growth. Led by the Solent LEP, the local authorities within South Hampshire and the HCA, a resolution to grant outline planning permission for the Solent Enterprise Zone was agreed by Fareham and Gosport Borough Councils at the end of March 2011. By 2026, it is estimated that 3,500 jobs will be created within the Zone, turning the area into a destination of choice for businesses within the marine, aerospace and aviation sectors.
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