Fareham Borough Council has officially taken over control of Fareham Innovation Centre, Daedalus in a ceremonial key handover event.
Colin Crowther, Construction Director at Bouygues UK – the company charged with delivering the new centre - passed the keys to Leader of the Council, Cllr Seán Woodward and The Mayor of Fareham, Cllr David Norris, to symbolise the building being transferred to the Council from the contractors.
During the day councillors and dignitaries received a tour of the £5.3m facility, which contains office space and workshops for new businesses, with a focus on the engineering, aerospace, aviation and marine industries. The project is set to create around 150 new jobs.
Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Seán Woodward, said:
"It's hugely satisfying to reach this point with construction of the Centre complete and new businesses starting to move in. It is particularly impressive that this building has been delivered so quickly; only 12 months ago we didn't even own the land on which it was built! The companies based here will benefit from top of the range support and facilities. In addition, the building also boasts strong green credentials, achieving a very good environmental score and having a roof covered in solar panels."
The Innovation Centre will be managed on behalf of Fareham Borough Council by Oxford Innovation. Oxford Innovation has extensive experience in operating state-of-the-art Innovation Centre facilities. Currently managing a network of 21 centres across the UK, used by over 900 companies, Oxford Innovation aim to provide businesses with a structured and supportive environment where companies can readily access first class business support as well as flexible workspace.
Chris Allington, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation's Business & Innovation Centres division, added: "I am delighted that Oxford Innovation has been appointed to manage this wonderful building. It's been a pleasure to work with the Fareham Borough Council and Bouygues UK professional teams. We are proud to take on the project from here after such an excellent construction phase. The pre-marketing has gone very well and we will be welcoming our first customers in early April, giving them access to a whole range of facilities, skills and experience. I am confident that this centre will play a key role, alongside CEMAST, in helping the Solent Enterprise Zone to become a flourishing hub of engineering activity for the Solent region."
The Innovation Centre is part of £8.3m investment from Fareham Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency at the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus, which includes improvements to the runway and building new hangar space. The target businesses which will be based at the Innovation Centre will also be complimentary to the training at the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Advanced Skills Training (CEMAST). Bouygues UK was also responsible for delivering the new CEMAST building, which was recently shortlisted for a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) regional award.
The Innovation Centre has been supported by a £5.3m investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) which is working with partners to bring thousands of new jobs and investment to the Solent Enterprise Zone. Whilst being an important project in its own right, should be seen in context of Fareham's commitment to Daedalus and our plans to acquire the whole site.
HCA area manager Esther Croft added: "This centre forms an important part of the efforts to bring new jobs, opportunities and economic growth to the Solent Enterprise Zone.
"We've made huge progress since taking responsibility for this site in 2011 and businesses are set to show their support for the enterprise zone by investing and moving onto the site. It's great to see the centre ready for business."
Colin Crowther, Construction Director at Bouygues UK, said: "Bouygues UK has a strong reputation for supporting education and commerce in the region - through the delivery of our construction projects as well as our work with schools, colleges and businesses in the area. The Innovation Centre was delivered on time and to budget and adds to our local legacy here in Hampshire, along with CEMAST and our work with Fareham College on its Bishopsfield Road Campus."
The Innovation Centre opens its doors in April and is due to be formally launched in the summer. For more information or to arrange a viewing, visit www.fareham-ic.co.uk .
Notes to editors:
It is estimated that around 3,500 jobs will be created within the Enterprise Zone over the life of the Zone, turning the area into a destination of choice for advanced manufacturing and technology businesses, especially within the marine, aerospace and aviation sectors.
The Enterprise Zone is led by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the local authorities within the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which owns much of the land within the Zone.
Photos from today's event are attached.
In recent years, Bouygues UK has increased its presence in the UK through the acquisition of Warings, Thomas Vale, Leadbitter and Denne. These, together with our existing construction and housing operations and those of our property development company, Bouygues Development, position us as a major player with a combined turnover of over £860 million, approximately 130 sites and 1800 people.
Bouygues UK is wholly owned by Bouygues Bâtiment International, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction. As a global player in construction and services, Bouygues Construction designs, builds and operates buildings and structures which improve the quality of people's living and working environment: public and private buildings, transport infrastructures and energy and communications networks. A leader in sustainable construction, the Group and its 53,500 employees have a long-term commitment to helping their customers shape a better life. In 2014, Bouygues Construction generated sales of 11.7 billion euros.
Fareham Innovation Centre is managed by Oxford Innovation, the leading operator of business and innovation centres that provide office and laboratory space to companies throughout the UK. The company also provides innovation services to entrepreneurs, including business-planning advice, fund raising, coaching and mentoring. For more information: www.oxin-centres.co.uk
For further information contact:
fax: 01329 550576, e-mail: email@example.com