Tech firms drive occupancy increase at Fareham Innovation Centre in Lee-on-the-Solent

A BUSINESS centre in Lee-on-the-Solent is bucking trends and has seen its occupancy level rise, despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 4:45 am

Occupancy at Fareham Innovation Centre, which is at Daedalus, has risen by 17 per cent over the past 12 months with a series of signings and on-site expansions.

With 55 serviced offices and 20 fully occupied workshops, the centre is now home to 60 SMEs – many of which are involved in technology.

Designed for start-ups and early-stage businesses, the centre, by Solent Airport, provides a supportive ecosystem for occupiers in marine, aviation, aerospace engineering and advanced manufacturing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Centre Director Stephen Brownlie is pictured with a glass-top coffee table fashioned from a V-12 engine from a Second World War Supermarine Spitfire.

The centre is run by Oxford Innovation on behalf of building owner Fareham Borough Council.

Read More

Read More
Two start-ups in Fareham - including one which worked for Ed Sheeran and Biffy C...

Centre director Stephen Brownlie said: ‘Just over 6,000 sq ft has been signed up from a range of tech businesses over the past year, with occupancy increasing by 17 per cent since May 2020.

‘This shows optimism and confidence by new and expanding occupiers – they have been planning ahead beyond the challenges posed by Covid-19 restrictions.

‘Our customers are telling us that the centre offers a supportive ecosystem and is suited to the new flexible working trend highlighted in a topical survey by Microsoft in the UK and globally.

‘We’re also being told by smaller businesses that they prefer the financial reassurance of monthly licences rather than committing to long-term office leases where you’re tied down for a set number of years.’

Business support ranges from one-to-one mentoring, workshops, signposted funding opportunities, seminars, programmes and, with the universities of Southampton, Solent and Portsmouth, internships; there are also apprenticeships through Fareham College.

Latest occupiers include Ecomar Propulsion, a specialist in zero emission marine engines with a 398 sq ft workshop, and Carnage Digital, an interactive leisure and entertainment software developer, with a 204 sq ft office.

TestTech Global, which provides hardware and software solutions, moved into a 258 sq ft office, as has advanced electronics communications firm Marlborough Communications.

Wearable technology specialist Guided Knowledge moved into the centre, signing up to 1,883 sq ft of office and workshop combined.

Other occupiers include tech start-up Maverick Aviation, which is developing next-generation lightweight jetpacks, and RAD Propulsion, which manufactures high-quality bespoke electric propulsion systems.

Another occupier, Psion Consulting, has been contracted by a corporate manufacturer to develop advanced software for smart eyewear linked to computers.

Stephen said: ‘The amount of tech research and development which comes on here at Fareham Innovation Centre is staggering – James Bond’s ‘Q’ wouldn’t be out of place here.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news online - as well as our new Puzzles section.