A TOWN’s economy is on the up and up.
That was the message as the minister of state for housing and planning Brandon Lewis visited a new employment site in Havant that is poised to create around 240 jobs.
There was a sod-cutting ceremony to mark the start of building a new factory for P&I Generators, which is the first business signed up to the site off Harts Farm Way.
The firm started 13 years ago in the bedroom of Paul Benfield, from Leigh Park, and has expanded so much that it has outgrown its current unit in Downley Road, Havant.
The company will be looking to employ 50 people at the new factory.
The site, close to the A27 and A3(M), used to be Havant Borough Council’s depot, but it has been flattened into a site ripe for development.
It could provide up to 250,000 square feet of commercial space.
An £18m police investigation centre has been mooted as a potential development, although no decision has yet been made on that.
The minister later visited Solent Road, where £60m of private investment has seen the expansion of the retail park, with Marks & Spencer set to open in May, and a new trade park.
Mr Lewis told The News: ‘It’s fantastic. I’m delighted to be able to come and visit and see the kind of work that local authorities are doing to make sure it’s giving that provision for local businesses to be able to grow locally.’
Havant MP Alan Mak said: ‘Supporting the local economy is my top priority.
‘The economy in Havant is very strong and we have got some exciting developments. Dunsbury Hill Farm is going to create over 3,000 jobs and this site will create more on top of that.’
Paul Terzza, technical director for P&I Generators, said: ‘It’s long overdue.
‘There’s plenty of places within the Havant area that could be developed. We would like to employ people in the local area.’