THE first step on the road to transform the Daedalus site in Gosport into a ‘world-class manufacturing centre’ has been taken.
The former Ministry of Defence site was unlocked for public use after planning permission was granted to build the Solent Enterprise Zone there.
The new business centre will bring 3,500 sorely-needed jobs to Gosport.
Around £1.6m will be invested by the Homes and Communities Agency in this first phase of work.
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.
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, which is responsible for 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.’
The Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus is one of 24 set up nationally to support local economic and employment growth.
Fareham and Gosport borough councils are asking people to comment on its draft policy for granting business rate discounts at the Solent Enterprise Zone.
See fareham.gov.uk/ haveyoursay.