It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since the General Election which saw me elected as the Member of Parliament for Gosport.
This week I’ve been thinking back about what I’ve achieved over the past 12 months and what there is still to do.
One ongoing challenge is my commitment to ensuring that vital new growth and development opportunities are brought to the Hampshire coast.
This year’s Budget announced the creation of 21 new Enterprise Zones tasked with kick-starting growth in underdeveloped areas through lower business taxes, less red tape and fewer regulators.
With 11 zones already unveiled, the government is reviewing the options for the location of the final 10 zones, and I will do everything in my power to try to secure greater investment for the south coast.
We all know how successive Labour governments neglected our region.
This is evident in the fact that Gosport remains the only large town in the UK without a railway line, and with only half a job per working adult.
It’s clear our corner of Hampshire is in dire need of investment.
The Daedalus site is one of our resources that has been underutilised for far too long.
This is why I’ve written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to urge him to consider this site as a future Enterprise Zone.
I’m confident that the development of Daedalus will act as a catalyst for growth and employment throughout our region. Previous fears about the lack of serviced employment land and new business space for investment would be put to rest, and the true potential of Daedalus for investors would be realised.
As the site occupies a strategically significant position on the Gosport peninsula, with the unique facility of the concrete runway and a wonderful coastal location, its development would have far-reaching benefits for the local area and the region as a whole.
The potential of the site is already being recognised gradually in plans for upwards of 3,000 new jobs and training opportunities as part of Seeda and the new Solent LEP.
If we can go on to secure Daedalus’s future as an Enterprise Zone, the whole area would receive a massive boost and gain recognition as a centre of aviation engineering, marine excellence and wider growth and development in its own right.