MONEY will be given to help businesses move after the industrial estate they are based on has been earmarked for housing development.
Around 50 businesses at Bury Farm, in Botley Road, Curbridge, will be forced to move from their current base if a housing estate north of Whiteley is given planning permission.
We’ll do what we can to assist these companies in finding and moving to new premises.Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for economy
The application has been put into Winchester City Council by the North Whiteley Consortium and will see 3,500 homes, two primary schools, a secondary school, two community centres, sports pitches, and more, built across the site.
Around 300 jobs are at risk as businesses said they felt ‘left out of the loop’ and that they had not been given appropriate notice or support.
However, a meeting was held earlier this month where representatives from Winchester City Council, Hampshire County Council, developer Crest Nicholson and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership went to the site to meet businesses and talk about how they could be helped to move.
James Byrnes, Winchester’s portfolio holder for the local economy, said he was impressed by the businesses at the site, which include a demolition firm, engineering companies, car workshops, stonecrafts, wedding companies and many more.
He said: ‘I have been impressed by the specialist nature of many of these businesses. We want to keep them in the local area if we can, and build long-term relationships with them.
‘My officers have already met and talked to many of them, and will continue to stay in touch.’
Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for economy, said he was committed to helping these businesses move.
He said: ‘We have ascertained that Crest Nicholson and the Solent LEP are both keen to work with the local authorities to provide assistance, and I am confident that we will be able to announce what form this assistance will take in early July.
‘We’ll do what we can to assist these companies in finding and moving to new premises.’
Around 100 homes will be built on the six-acre Bury Farm site, if the estate receives permission from Winchester City Council, expected to be next month.