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£25m business hub plan unveiled for HMS Daedalus site near Lee-on-the-Solent
MULTI-million pound plans to turn part of a Hampshire airfield into a major business hub have today been unveiled by one of the country's top politicians.
Eric Pickles has announced proposals to inject £25m in to The Solent Enterprise Zone at the former HMS Daedalus site near Lee-on-the-Solent .
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government wants to create nearly 1,200 jobs by using the cash to regenerate a 21-acre section of the huge air field.
Once funding is finalised, bosses hope to start building work on new commercial space and 90 houses as early as spring next year.
Half of the investment is aimed at developing 25,000 sq ft of advanced manufacturing business space beside the airfield.
Up to £8m would come from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership's Growing Places Fund, £4.1m from Hampshire County Council and £1.5m from the Government's Regional Growth Fund.
The Secretary of State also announced proposals to invest £3m from the Growing Places Fund in Fareham College's bid for a new advanced skills training centre on the site.
If a total £12m investment package is secured to deliver the centre, it would provide specialist training for the advanced manufacturing sector and training employees of businesses on the site.
This project alone is expected to create 135 temporary jobs during construction and a further 150 permanent jobs on site when complete.
The Leader of Hampshire County Council, Ken Thornber , said the Enterprise Zone could end up being “the jewel in the UK's advanced manufacturing crown”.
And Eric Pickles added: "This over £25million boost for the Solent Enterprise Zone will unlock its huge potential to deliver growth, homes and jobs and make a real difference to Gosport .”
The scheme is the first part of moves to regenerate the vast airfield, creating up to 3,500 jobs by 2026.