Council’s purchase of building at airfield could create 40 more jobs

Daedalus is set to welcome another firm to its business park Picture: Shaun Roster
Daedalus is set to welcome another firm to its business park Picture: Shaun Roster

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  • Further purchase from Fareham Borough Council at Daedalus airfield
  • Council to lease site to Universal Tool & Production Co
  • Councillor queries purchase as figures of deal being kept under wraps
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UP TO 40 jobs could be created at a new building on the site of a former naval airfield.

Fareham-based Universal Tool & Production Co, whose headquarters is in West Street, Fareham, is set to move into the premises at Faraday Business Park, Daedalus, Lee-on-the-Solent.

This purchase will not just be great for the council and the tenant but also for the people of Fareham as it will hopefully mean the creation of up to 40 more jobs once the tenant moves in.

Councillor Sean Woodward

Fareham Borough Council’s executive agreed last night to purchase the site before leasing it back to the company, securing the jobs of 57 people. There is also the potential for a further 40 jobs being created after the move.

The price of the purchase is being kept under wraps.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘This purchase will not just be great for the council and the tenant but also for the people of Fareham as it will hopefully mean the creation of up to 40 more jobs once the tenant moves in. The company is looking to expand so we are keen to help them and it is a good opportunity to bring in more money via rents.

‘The building’s ready for them now so the move can take place soon.’

Universal Tool & Production Co has been trading in the borough since 1952, providing engineering services to aerospace, oil and gas industries.

The new building, which will be its factory, has been built to the firm’s specification. It provides about 30,000sq ft of space by the entrance of Daedalus East.

While the figures surrounding the deal are being kept under wraps, the acquisition continues the local authority’s expenditure on the site since it took over back in March 2015.

Liberal Democrat councillor Shaun Cunningham questioned the expenditure, as the local authority recently upped its commercial portfolio past £26m with the purchase of two shops.

Cllr Cunningham said: ‘The question from me right now is where is the ceiling in terms of the council’s spending?

‘How high will they continue to go in terms of making these purchases?

‘I’m guessing this purchase is another couple of million pounds so it will then add to that existing £26m.

‘That’s a lot of money from the taxpayer being used.’

The funds for the purchase will taken from the council’s capital programme and supplemented by borrowing.