A PACKAGE worth £8.3m to upgrade Fareham’s airfield has been unlocked as the terms of a £3m loan were agreed to yesterday.
Fareham Borough Council gave its approval to a £3m loan from the Solent LEP at its executive meeting last night.
The council has already secured a £5.3m investment from the Homes and Community Agency towards the project.
Once completed, the Daedalus site, which runs across Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent, will see new hangar space, a resurfaced runway, office space with room for start-up companies at the Solent Enterprise Zone.
The Solent LEP offered a £3m loan from the Growing Places Fund for the investment, which the council accepted yesterday.
Collectively, the investment package is expected to create 495 jobs and will be completed in Spring 2015.
MP for Gosport Caroline Dinenage gave a deputation at the meeting. She said Daedalus was one of her main priorities and urged councillors to support the loan so the project could continue. Ms Dinenage said: ‘Daedalus has huge potential which is why a great number of us have worked so hard to campaign for an enterprise zone, but we now need to take that next step.
‘We have seen businesses show faith in us and move to the site.
‘What we are talking about is not just attracting more businesses but protecting those who are already there.’
On the executive committee Cllr Brian Bayford said: ‘This council should be very proud that this innovative project has been carried forward so well and I look forward to the future with great hopes.’
Leader of the council Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘These are exciting times for Deadalus.
‘As well as retaining existing jobs this innovative project will support new jobs and businesses at the Solent Enterprise Zone which is a high priority for the council and our partners.
‘Without the investment to bring the runway up to a good standard it could close next year which would have been a disaster for the area.’