HAMPSHIRE County Council has won the Best Implementation award from the Institute of Economic Development (IED), the UK’s leading professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners.

It has been hailed for its role in securing a new £45 million facility at Farnborough Airport for leading US jet manufacturer Gulfstream.

The council, in partnership with Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and Rushmoor Borough Council, developed a public sector support offer to sit alongside the commercial proposition from Farnborough Airport that helped secure Gulfstream’s investment.

A strategy was developed to demonstrate commitment to creating investment, jobs and skills in Hampshire, and enhance the opportunities for local SMEs. This centred on a package of support for Gulfstream to secure the project; measures to support the relocation of existing staff to Farnborough; and provide the aerospace giant with access to new skills, talent and supply chains.

The strategy around developing skills and talent has been implemented effectively in that by working in partnership with Gulfstream, and other locally-based aerospace companies, the partners have been able to identify new opportunities to ensure the sector has the right future skills and talent.

This has led to Farnborough College of Technology, supported by Hampshire and Rushmoor Borough Council, successfully bidding for £2.5 million from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver an Aerospace Research and Innovation Centre at the college. Set to open in 2020, it will be dedicated to aerospace education, training and innovation, developing skills that ensure companies remain productive and innovative in competitive markets.

Cllr Rob Humby, deputy leader and executive member for economy, transport and environment for the county council, said: “The Gulfstream project represents the largest single investment ever made by Gulfstream outside the US and is one of the most significant inward investment projects in Hampshire in recent years. The relocation of Gulfstream’s business to Farnborough provides significant economic impact and benefit to the Rushmoor borough and wider Hampshire economy by creating high-value job and skill opportunities for up to 600 people. We are proud that our own contribution has been recognised in winning the IED Best Implementation award.”

IED chairman Bev Hurley said: “We would like to congratulate Hampshire County Council on winning our Best Implementation award for 2019. This year the category was packed with examples of business intervention and support programmes.”