MORE than 300 jobs will be created through a £7m extension at an innovation centre.
Fareham Innovation Centre at Daedalus, Lee-on-the-Solent, opened its extension, which also features a conference suite, earlier this week.
The 3,400 sq m development will house 33 offices and five workshops.
Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Seán Woodward, said: ‘This extension adds to the excellent facilities already on offer at the Innovation Centre, further underlining it as the location of choice for fledgling companies, especially those in the specialist sectors of aviation, aerospace and marine advanced engineering.
‘The project also brings 300 highly skilled new job opportunities, a great boost to Fareham’s economy.’
Oxford Innovation manages Fareham Innovation Centre on behalf of the council.
Stephen Brownlie, Oxford Innovation’s regional manager, said: ‘Occupancy is already 20 per cent at the extension and the level of interest is high from start-ups, early-growth firms and scale-up companies in the marine, engineering and aerospace sectors.
‘We anticipate 50 per cent occupancy at the extension by autumn and all five workshops, which are suitable for light manufacturing and engineering, have been snapped up.’
The £7m project has been developed and funded by Fareham Borough Council, and supported with £2m funding from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through HM Government’s Local Growth Fund.
Chairman of Solent LEP, Gary Jeffries said: ‘I’m delighted to celebrate the opening of the second phase of the Innovation Centre, a key part of the Solent Enterprise Zone which is going from strength to strength.
‘We look forward to the continued revitalisation of Daedalus and making this Enterprise Zone a real focus for growth, ideas, and innovation.’