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Solent Enterprise Zone

The Solent LEP sponsors the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus which is a major regeneration initiative to bring an ex-military airfield covering 200 hectares back into productive use.  The Enterprise Zone was designated in 2012 with the aim of creating a new cluster of principally engineering and manufacturing businesses with a focus on the aviation, aerospace and marine sectors.   Daedalus has received significant new investment in infrastructure and services as well as new off-site access arrangements which include major on-going works to improve road links between the Zone and the M27.  The site has an operational all-weather airfield http://www.solentairport.co.uk/solent_airport/intro.aspx and a coastal location.

A new advanced engineering college, the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing Skills Training (CEMAST) http://www.fareham.ac.uk/cemast/ was opened on site in September 2014 supported by loan funding from Solent LEP and Hampshire County Council, providing over 1000 student training places in aviation, marine, vehicle and electronic engineering working with major local employers including the aerospace and defence industries.  An Innovation Centre, http://www.fareham-ic.co.uk/?gclid=CLrzyP2Qg9ICFYaT7QodtugDQA managed by Oxford Innovation opened in May 2015 providing both office and small workshop units for over 120 employees and membership of a business club providing resources and networking opportunities.  The Centre is currently full with a waiting list and construction of a major extension, supported with funding from Solent LEP, will commence in the Spring and is expected to be open in early 2018.  Reservations for the new Centre are currently being accepted.

Two new business parks are now open for business:  Faraday, which offers new commercial property or serviced land for sale or lease, which was developed with a Solent LEP loan from the Solent Growing Places Fund.  The new business at Daedalus East provides principally for engineering businesses and includes a dedicated area for aviation-related and aerospace businesses seeking access to the airfield with its newly resurfaced runway.  A range of new business hangars will become available to lease later in 2017.   At Daedalus Park, around 13,000 sqm of new commercial development is under construction providing new units for sale or lease in a range of sizes including small business space https://www.daedaluspark.co.uk/ .   

Two new areas of development are in progress at the Solent Enterprise Zone.  Development will commence next year on a new self-contained area of the Enterprise Zone which will become the major new Swordfish business park comprising 22,000 sqm of commercial development space, which again will have a dedicated area for aviation businesses requiring access to the runway.   Swordfish will be able to accommodate large commercial units and would be suitable for businesses requiring secure premises. 

In the Waterfront area of the Enterprise Zone, a new main access road is now complete, financed by a £7m grant from the Department of Communities:  a major programme to reinforce the site infrastructure is underway together with site clearance which will open up a 20 acre commercial development area in Gosport.   The site has water access via a slipway and is already home to marine manufacturing businesses.   A further 20 acres of mixed use development will provide investment opportunities for hotel, leisure or retirement uses in a coastal location with views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.   One hundred new homes have already been built at Daedalus and a further 200 low cost homes will be built over the next 2 years which are pilot schemes under the Homes and Communities Agency's Advance Construction initiative.  

Solent Enterprise Zone offers business rate discounts worth up to £55,000 a year over five years to eligible businesses established on the Zone before 31 March 2018.  EZ businesses are also eligible to apply for grants, loans or equity share arrangements offered by Solent LEP.   To find out more about progress at the Solent Enterprise Zone, as well as current development and business opportunities, contact our Enterprise Zone lead Jeff Channing at jeff.channing@solentlep.org.uk