'˜Town can recover from the loss of a major business'

HAVANT can and will bounce back from the loss of a major business.

Friday, 15th July 2016, 6:04 am

That’s the vow today from political and business leaders in the wake of the devastating news that 324 skilled jobs will be lost in the area.

Hard drive manufacturer Seagate has said Xyratex is shutting in Havant due to a ‘weak macroeconomic environment’ and ‘accelerating usage shifts of technologies’.

It means 324 employees at the firm’s base at Langstone Technology Park will lose their jobs.

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The news comes just a month after council leaders and Havant MP Alan Mak launched ‘Prosperity Havant’ – a detailed plan outlining regeneration opportunities across Havant and Waterlooville.

Mr Mak told The News he was confident that more skilled jobs will come into the area.

‘I think we will get it back,’ he said.

‘I am confident of that.’

He stressed that the move out of Havant by Seagate was ‘not a vote of no confidence in Havant’ but was due to global changes in technology.

He said that businesses were ‘beating a path to our doors’.

‘I just know there is lots of stuff in the pipeline,’ said Mr Mak.

And he added: ‘I recently welcomed the chairman of one of Britain’s biggest developers, who is keen to regenerate important sites across Havant both commercial and residential, a real sign of confidence in our local economy.’

Yesterday, 170 new jobs were created with the opening of M&S and Mothercare at Solent Retail Park.

And building work continues on a new business park off Harts Farm Way, Broadmarsh, and the sprawling Dunsbury Hill Farm business development.

And the council has announced plans for 5,000 extra homes and a new junction off the A27 near Emsworth – all strong signals to the construction industry.

Gary Medlow, managing director of Fasset, which runs Langstone Technology Park, said Langstone had a ‘superb track record’ of attracting new businesses.

He said it was ‘disappointing’ to lose a big tenant.

But he added: ‘There is a significant demand in this area for serviced offices.

‘We have got people that are wanting to come on the site.

‘They are smaller offices, but it’s a good indication of what’s out there.’