Key handed over at opening of new £5.3m innovation centre in Fareham

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BUSINESS looks set to boom at an enterprise zone after the official opening of a £5.3m innovation centre.

The keys to Fareham Innovation Centre, at the former Royal Navy airbase Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent, were handed to Fareham Borough Council yesterday.

A ceremonial event was held and praise was given to the construction company, Bouygues UK, which completed the centre within nine months.

Colin Crowther, construction director at Bouygues UK, passed the key – which had been made with a 3D printer by students from the nearby Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Advanced Skills – to council leader Sean Woodward.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘It is a great achievement.’

He said the centre would be part of an £8.5m investment into the site, which has also seen new hangars built and the runway resurfaced.

The Innovation Centre was supported by a £5.3m investment from the Homes & Communities Agency, which is working with partners to bring 3,500 new jobs to the Solent Enterprise Zone.

The centre is expected to create 150 jobs, and will provide office space and workshops for new businesses, with a focus on the engineering, aerospace, aviation and marine industries.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘It is a tremendous opportunity for businesses and for entrepreneurs that are training at Cemast.’

Two businesses – Nuwave Training and Lios Bikes – have already signed up to the centre, which will be managed on behalf of the council by Oxford Innovation.

START OF A BOOM From left, the Mayoress of Fareham Pamela Norris, Mayor David Norris, council leader Sean Woodward, construction director for Bouygues Leadbitter Colin Crowther, and Oxford Innovation's managing director for business and innovation centres Chris Allington at the Fareham Innovation Centre. Picture: Kimberley Barber

START OF A BOOM From left, the Mayoress of Fareham Pamela Norris, Mayor David Norris, council leader Sean Woodward, construction director for Bouygues Leadbitter Colin Crowther, and Oxford Innovation's managing director for business and innovation centres Chris Allington at the Fareham Innovation Centre. Picture: Kimberley Barber

Chris Allington, managing director of Oxford Innovation’s business and innovation centres, said: ‘I’m confident that this centre will play a key role, alongside Cemast, in helping the Solent Enterprise Zone to become a flourishing hub of engineering activity for the Solent region.’

For more information or to arrange a viewing go to fareham-ic.co.uk.

It is a tremendous opportunity for businesses and for entrepreneurs that are training at CEMAST

Council leader Sean Woodward