Jobs on the way as council given £1.5m cash fund

REDEVELOPMENT The former Daedalus airfield
REDEVELOPMENT The former Daedalus airfield

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A JOBS boom could be sparked with the next phase of work at the former Daedalus airfield.

Gosport Borough Council has been chosen to lead plans for the business park by the Homes and Community Agency, owner of the land at the enterprise zone on the former HM Daedalus airfield.

If councillors agree on Wednesday then the authority will be responsible for a fund of £1.55m to install power mains, broadband and other essential infrastructure at the Daedalus Business Park.

It would mean the council agreeing that it could create 351 full-time jobs within seven years after agreeing to take it on.

Tory deputy leader of the council, Cllr Graham Burgess said the council is confident the jobs will be created when more businesses move in.

He said: ‘Most of the area for redevelopment is in the Gosport side of the site, so it seems right that it should fall to us to do it and we’re happy to do so.

‘It shows HCA has the trust in us as an authority, that we’re accountable and can deliver the services required.

‘Coupled with the fact that £8.5m is being spent on Newgate Lane, it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s full steam ahead and Gosport is at the helm.’

Work at the site is due to begin in the next few months.

At the same time, work on the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Advanced Skills Training will begin at the site, along with the building of business units.

The cash the council will be responsible for is the second phase of the £4.49m bid for funding for the enterprise zone back in 2011.

Last June the government announced £2.94m from its Regional Growth Fund would be spent attracting businesses to the site.

The enterprise zone was awarded to the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, with the HCA, Gosport, Fareham Borough Council and Hampshire County Council working together to develop the site.

Labour opposition leader at Gosport Borough Council, Cllr Dennis Wright, said he agrees the council should oversee the works.

He said: ‘I very much welcome it.

‘To get an enterprise zone in Gosport must be good for employment prospects – and we certainly need jobs within Gosport.

‘Obviously there’s a bit of a risk attached but I’ve met with both the borough treasurer and his assistant and they assure me the risk involved is very, very low.’