Plans have been approved for a 37,000sqft extension to the Innovation Centre at Daedalus. This will double the centre in size, create 33 new office units, five new workshops, new parking spaces and an estimated 300 local jobs.
The hub, which opened in 2015, provides space and resources for small businesses, mainly from the aviation, aerospace and marine sectors, to prosper and grow. Within its first year of opening it reached full occupancy, bringing 120 new jobs and 27 new businesses to the Enterprise Zone.
The Daedalus site has made immense progress since October 2010, when local MP Caroline Dinenage first chaired a mini summit with key stakeholders and formed the Daedalus Strategy Group, which she continued to chair until October 2015. The group was instrumental in Daedalus's successful bid to become an Enterprise Zone in 2011 and successive funding bids which have seen over £50 million invested in the site by various bodies.
In recent years, the site has seen the establishment of CEMAST (Centre of Excellence in Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training), training over 900 learners, apprentices and employees in specialised engineering and manufacturing solutions. Furthermore, investment has enabled building of a new runway, new hangars, refurbishments to the control tower and providing a large area of public open space.
Commenting on the announcement, Caroline said:
"The Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus Airfield is going from strength to strength. I am delighted that this bustling business hub is set to double in size, which will provide much needed support and resources for local fledgling businesses. Schemes like this, accompanied by the Stubbington Bypass and other road improvement projects, are so important for attracting investors and encouraging enterprise to our area, helping to boost growth, jobs and skills."
The work on expanding the hub is expected to cost around £6.6m and take just under a year with completion due in early 2018.