A SECOND innovation centre at Daedalus is planned to be up and running by March 2018 after plans leaped forward.
Fareham Borough Council’s executive approved a proposal to proceed with the development at a meeting on Monday.
The first centre was successful beyond all our expectationsSean Woodward
The new building, set to cost in the region of £6.6m, will complement the existing Fareham Innovation Centre and will be built next to its predecessor.
Sean Woodward, executive leader at the council, said: ‘The first centre was successful beyond all of our expectations and it filled up within months when we were expecting it to take at least three years to be at full capacity.’
‘That means there is now a very significant demand for more accommodation so we are looking to bring a second centre forward.’
The News first revealed the plans for a second centre last month and the council is now targeting to have a planning application for the building submitted by August.
Following potential planning consent, it is anticipated that 11 months of work on the site will get under way from next April.
Councillor Keith Evans, executive member for planning supported the proposals, stating: ‘The success of the first centre shows that it was money well spent.
‘A second centre takes us on to the next step of our bold vision for Daedalus.’
The new building is set to cover around 2,700 sq metres and is hoping to accommodate around 46 new offices and workshops with additional conference space.
The first £5.3m centre was opened in April 2015 and it was revealed last month it was now full with 27 businesses now working from the site.
The centre is next to the former military Daedalus airport at Lee-on-the-Solent within the 82-hectare Solent Enterprise Zone.
A total of 110 businessmen and women work at the site and Oxford Innovation operates the site on behalf of the council.
The centre’s manager Stephen Brownlie said: ‘Given the overwhelming success of the centre, there is clearly a strong case to replicate the model here at Daedalus.
‘It’s fantastic news that the council has approved a second centre, generating further local jobs and valuable investment into the area.’