Coastguard shows off its £2m plans for training hub

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PLANS for the coastguard agency’s new £2m training hub at the former HMS Daedalus airfield have been revealed.

The coastal training facility, in Lee-on-the-Solent, will also include a rescue station with a retained crew.

Designs have now been sent to Gosport’s council.

The Marine and Coastguard Agency centre will have a 16m wall to simulate cliff rescues, space for coastguard vehicles and a conference room.

It is estimated to cost £1,925,000, depending on planning permission.

As reported, during his first visit to the area since taking up the job, Michael Fallon, the new Minister for Portsmouth, said £7m will be given to Solent LEP to develop the waterfront side of the enterprise zone.

Now Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage says she is delighted with the coastguard’s plans.

She said: ‘I was delighted when they decided to expand their existing facility.

‘It just goes to underline the importance of the Daedalus site and its really significant role in being able to create the local jobs that we need.

‘People who are coming on courses will need to stay locally and help the local economy as well.’

As reported, Fareham and Gosport’s council leaders hope the enterprise zone will create 4,500 jobs.

The purpose-built facility will be run by 29 permanent staff and 11 volunteers.

It comes as a new National Maritime Operations Centre in Segensworth is due to be up and running by this autumn.

The search and rescue helicopter will stay at Daedalus.

When it opens the training hub will replace the current facility at MCA Highcliffe and the coastguard rescue station will replace the current facility at Hill Head.

Both are due to be in the same building.

Councillor Graham Burgess is the deputy leader of Gosport Borough Council.

He said: ‘It’s going to be a state-of-the-art training facility. It will also bring permanent jobs to the site.

‘Everything is gathering pace on Daedalus. It has taken a while but things are starting to happen.’

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the centre will provide ‘essential training and skills to help them deal with incidents and prevent loss of life.’