Deal will attract more aviation firms to Lee-on-the-Solent airfield

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NEW investment from the Homes and Communities Agency means that aviation and aerospace firms looking for a new home will find it simpler to move on to the former Daedalus airfield.

The Lee-on-the-Solent airfield had been owned by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which allowed other firms access on a temporary lease.

But now the airfield has been bought for £1.52m by the Homes and Communities Agency, which owns the rest of the Daedalus site – now the Solent Enterprise Zone – and plans to make changes to encourage more firms with their heads in the clouds to set up shop there.

The HCA is hoping to get a licence for the airfield which would allow it to be used for a wider range of activities and by a wider range of craft, as well as creating a plan for management of the runway and facilities at the airfield over the next few years.

The move has been welcomed by businesses based at the Solent Enterprise Zone.

Steve Ford, managing director of Sapphire Aviation, which has recently moved onto the site, said: ‘This is great news for us as a business.

‘Knowing our access to the airfield and runway is guaranteed means we can plan ahead for the future, in confidence that we will be able to use the facilities and grow.’

Peter Cusdin, development director at the Homes and Communities Agency, added: ‘Add this to other benefits of the site, such as the existing local skills base in the area, business rate discounts for employers moving to or expanding on the site, investment in infrastructure and planned on-site training facilities, and we really are on track to create a hub for advanced engineering and aerospace businesses in south Hampshire.’