ENTREPRENEURS and start-up companies are in line for a helping hand under plans to build a ‘unique’ new business centre.
Fareham Borough Council has submitted plans to build a business space at the former Daedalus airfield, which it hopes will lead to the creation of around 150 jobs.
The £5.3m Innovation Centre would include office space and workshop facilities for new businesses, offering support to fledgling firms which might otherwise fail.
The plans were broadly welcomed at a meeting of the Crofton Community Action Team last night, but neighbours expressed fears over an increased volume of traffic.
Tony Mundy, Fareham Borough Council’s economic development manager told people at last night’s Crofton Community Action Team meeting: ‘Statistics tell us businesses setting up without a sheltered environment tend to fail, so this is worth doing.
‘We hope to create an environment where businesses can grow and expand for the benefit of the community.
‘There is a shared ambition in the area to see maritime and aviation industries on the Daedalus site.
‘That’s why where is a big programme of investment and infrastructure in place.’
If all goes smoothly, the council hopes the building could be complete by April next year.
The proposed Innovation Centre is the latest development on the Daedalus airfield site, which has been made an enterprise zone by the government in a bid to attract more investment.
The building will sit near the under-construction Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Advanced Skills Training (CEMAST), which is to be run by Fareham College.
Business secretary Vince Cable visited Lee-on-the-Solent last week to attend a topping out ceremony there.
Other investment at Daedalus will see improvements to the runway, new hangar space, and newly-installed services, utilities, and access roads.
Fareham’s council leader Councillor Sean Woodward, said: ‘These latest plans could see state-of-the-art business facilities at Daedalus and the creation of highly skilled local jobs.’