Regional Growth Funding Announced

Much work behind the scenes by many parties came to fruition 31 Oct 2011 - Regional Growth Funding Announced. Good news for the long term prospects for the airfield and aviation at Daedalus Airfield, Lee-On-Solent.


Press Release from the Solent LEP

Date: Monday 31st October, 2011
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Government have today announced that money from the Regional Growth Fund will be allocated to supporting the expansion of small and medium enterprise (SMEs) at The Solent Enterprise Zone. Funding from the RGF bid, submitted by the Daedalus Business Partnership with the backing of the Solent LEP, will be invested in the site as follows:

Upgrading the airfield. It is hoped that this upgrade will allow the runway to be licensed and attract a long-term private sector partner.Business support for SMEs, both already based on Daedalus and planning moves onto the site, allowing them to expand their operations in the Enterprise Zone. The Daedalus Marine & Aviation SME Expansion Fund is expected to help up to 20 SMEs expand, creating over 300 new jobs on the site.

Gary Jeffries, Solent LEP Director, said: “We put Daedalus forward for consideration as an Enterprise Zone knowing the enormous potential which could be unlocked. Today’s announcement that the Enterprise Zone benefits will now be combined with RGF investment brings the site one step closer to becoming the world-class advanced manufacturing centre we are aiming to create.”

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the funding, stating: “I am pleased the government has recognised the potential Gosport has to drive economic growth. The new jobs created by this government funding will be a major benefit for the local community and I look forward to the Daedalus Enterprise Zone flourishing as a centre of aviation engineering and marine excellence in its own right.”

This we believe is good news for the airfield and the general aviation sector given the need for investment in the aviation infrastructure, including runway, and utilities/services required to enable investment by the aviation and marine sectors.
The future for the airfield is as a General Aviation airfield - i.e. supporting the wide variety of aviation uses other than commercial airline and military operations. Exemplars of General Aviation airfield successes are Kemble - an ex-RAF airfield very succcessfully regenerated by Kemble Air Services, and also Sywell Aerodrome.
It is important that both General Aviation SME's and the market they serve that it is fairly considered, represented and developed as the airfield moves forward. At present there is not a published process by which expressions of interest from aviation organisations is formally processed so LFA are providing what it believes are appropriate contacts to those businesses and individuals wish to establish or grow their operations at Lee - in many case having been unable to do so for a matter or years. As soon as a process is available we will post links to it from the LFA website.