BUILDINGS on a former Navy airfield have proved popular among businesses – creating jobs and bringing economic prosperity to the area.
The units, some of which are former aircraft hangars and others new build, are part of the Solent Enterpise Zone at Daedalus, in Lee-on-the-Solent.
On the site, Daedalus Park, which is being marketed by commercial estate agency Holloway Iliffe & Mitchell, is already nearly full even though the site is not due to be finished until August.
Agency director Tom Holloway said the park had bucked trends by attracting attention, despite an uncertain climate.
He said: ‘Out of 30 units there, 80 per cent are reserved.
‘The success has been down to a combination of road improvements in the area, such as the proposed Stubbington bypass, and the fact that it is an enterprise zone, so businesses enjoy five years of reduced business rates.’
The reduced business rate discount is worth up to £55,000 a year, and other factors such as access to the regional growth fund and superfast broadband have also boosted the site’s popularity.
One of the first to sign up to a unit at Daedalus Park was Wonderful Life, a supplier of hair and beauty products.
Zaine Brookes, from Fareham, set the business up three years ago in Barwell Lane, Gosport. He was attracted by the reduced rates, plus the chance to expand.
Mr Brookes said: ‘We need more room and bigger premises. It’s been going well for us and the enterprise zone is a good opportunity.
‘We are employing more local people but there’s also better access compared to where we are now.’
He added: ‘Our aim is to keep growing. We’ve gone from three staff to nine in two years and we’re hoping that we can double that again.’
Fareham Borough Council owns 80 per cent of the site and has spent millions of pounds on resurfacing the runway, building an innovation centre and supporting Fareham College’s Centre for Advanced Engineering Skills Training (Cemast).
Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘Daedalus is turning into a real success story.
‘There will be 3,000 jobs created there over the next five years. It is very positive.’
For more go to solentez.co.uk/