In 2015, the Council acquired 369 acres of land at Daedalus from the Homes and Communities Agency (now Homes England) for £1. The site, which has outline planning permission for over 50,000m2 of commercial development, forms part of the Solent Enterprise Zone , which has been the catalyst for the development of a new £12m college, a multi-million-pound Stubbington Bypass scheme and the development of mixed use Waterfront regeneration area .
Following extensive engagement with various stakeholders and public consultation, in 2015 the Council adopted a Vision and Outline Strategy for Daedalus, setting out its ambitions for the airfield site.
"Our vision is for Daedalus to become a premier location for aviation, aerospace engineering and advanced manufacturing businesses, creating many skilled employment opportunities for local people, underpinned by a vibrant and sustainable airfield. Building on the existing general aviation uses, the airfield will be an attractive destination for visiting aircraft and will offer the hangars, facilities and services to attract more corporate and commercial aviation activities, allowing it to be self-sustaining in the medium term and contribute positively to the local community."
Specific objectives were:
So far, we have delivered or supported the delivery of:
In 2018 the Council published a report revisiting the Vision, three years after it was adopted. The report considers the progress made in fulfilling the Council's stated objectives for Solent Airport at Daedalus and business parks.
The Council owns the Daedalus site and runs it as part of its portfolio of public services from the General Fund revenue budget. We have invested over £30M on the Daedalus site since 2015, with around £9.5M in grant funding and the remainder funded from the Council's reserves, prudential borrowing and a £3.2M Growing Places Loan from Hampshire County Council. A detailed summary of how the investments have been funded can be found here.
The Council has developed a financial framework for the operation of and investment in the Daedalus site, in support of the Council's Vision for Daedalus. The overarching principle of the Daedalus Financial Strategy is that the Council's interest in the whole Daedalus site should make a sustained positive contribution to the Council's overall financial position and, as a minimum, the revenue costs associated with operating and investing in Daedalus should be cost neutral to council taxpayers. In 2021/22, the Council's activities at Daedalus returned a surplus of £193,795. Details of the Daedalus Revenue Outturn for 2021/22 can be found here.