MILLIONS of pounds are being invested by Hampshire County Council to bring Superfast Broadband to areas which BT considers unviable and which are not served by cable. Contracts are being negotiated to make live several cabinets, including Whiteley, and the County Council has a website http://www.hampshiresuperfastbroadband. com/ where people can check by postcode whether their cabinet is included either this year or next. Several residents have formed an interest group with a Facebook page ‘Whiteley Broadband’ . County Councillor Seán Woodward has invited them to meet him and leading members of the Council’s team responsible for the contracts in March to discuss ways of getting the best solution for Whiteley. He said: “Not only are we investing in upgrades which are not commercially viable, but we have also made money available with the possible use for match-funding communities where residents judge, perhaps for business reasons, that they would wish to contribute something to have their own cabinet upgraded when it falls outside even the two intervention contracts proposed by the County Council.”
A topping out ceremony has been held at Fareham Innovation Centre at Daedalus, to celebrate progress in its construction.
The Mayor of Fareham, Cllr David Norris, performed the ceremonial duty of securing a plaster board inside the Innovation Centre.
The £5.3m Innovation Centre will contain office space and workshop facilities for new businesses, with a focus on the engineering, aerospace, aviation and marine industries. The project will create around 150 new jobs.
The development 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 new hangar space. In September Fareham College opened a new Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Advanced Skills Training (CEMAST) on the site. Bouygues UK delivered CEMAST and is also responsible for the construction of the Innovation Centre, adding to its reputation for providing modern, high quality, environmentally sustainable facilities to support the Solent Enterprise Zone.
Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Conservative Cllr Seán Woodward, said: “It’s great to see progress is being made on the construction of the Innovation Centre. When it’s finished in spring new companies in engineering, aerospace, aviation and marine will benefit from top of the range support and facilities. This in turn will mean the creation of highly skilled local jobs, which will benefit the whole area.”
The Innovation Centre will be managed by Oxford Innovation. Oxford Innovation has extensive experience in operating state-of-the-art Innovation Centres 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: “We are delighted to have been appointed to manage the Innovation Centre at Daedalus, which will be a key part of attracting growing businesses to the Solent Enterprise Zone. We are pleased to have this opportunity to assist local businesses in engineering, aerospace, aviation and marine to succeed and grow and look forward to working in partnership with Fareham Borough Council.”
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.
HCA area manager Esther Croft added: “This project is an important part of partners’ wider efforts to turn the Solent Enterprise Zone into a ‘go-to’ destination for businesses in the south east of England. “These are exciting times for the project, with construction happening across the site and hundreds of students benefitting from top class training and education at the CEMAST centre. I’m sure this centre will be welcomed by local businesses and I look forward to seeing the project complete and occupied in a few months’ time.”
Work on the Innovation Centre is expected to be finished March 2015.
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. A timelapse video of the construction is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkl7Xgj-Ui0
Bouygues UK: 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 British player with a combined turnover of around £800 million, approximately 130 sites and 1600 people. Bouygues UK is wholly owned by Bouygues Bâtiment International, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction. A leader in sustainable construction, the Group and its 52,200 employees have a long-term commitment to helping their customers shape a better life. In 2013, Bouygues Construction generated sales of 11.1 billion Euros.
There is an urgent need for the completion of the Community Hospital. The first half took 25 years to complete; residents should not have to wait so long for the other half!
There is a need for an Accident Treatment Centre to deal with minor injuries; this will reduce the workload at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH). Fareham is one of the very few areas that has a projected increase in the birth rate BUT apart from QAH the only other provision is in Gosport. A birthing centre is therefore required as are beds for elderly care.
Following the closure of the Locks Road surgery, the Brook Lane practice has rented two consulting suites at the community hospital but cannot provide a service beyond 5.30pm although the Hospital is paid for by the Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! The British Red Cross Medical Loan store has not been used since the Hospital was opened in 2010. The very efficient Phlebotomy (Blood) Service is only able to operate through the goodwill of the volunteers from the Friends of Fareham Community Hospital who take bookings and man the reception desk. Residents can have a consultant outpatient appointment and then require an MRI scan. Too often this is arranged at QAH even though a mobile scanner visits the community hospital at least once a week. Despite there being an ultrasound suite there is no ultra-sound machine! The main reasons for these problems are because there is not any one person (or NHS organisation) in charge at the Community Hospital, so it is difficult to get anyone to make decisions.
Cllr Seán Woodward who is among those who can justly claim credit for the development of the hospital having campaigned for its provision for the 25 years before it opened has been in dialogue with the Brook Lane Surgery, the CCG: “Despite these issues having been raised many times we do not seem to be seeing any progress. The local GP practice wants to do more in the hospital but is limited in terms of its open access clinics by the hospital opening hours. This hospital is a fantastic but an underused and incomplete asset. I will continue to work to urge the overcoming of the barriers to service expansion.”
Some residents have raised the issue of a bus service to the hospital. Unfortunately each option tried to date has not proven successful; a regular service on Brook Lane was withdrawn due to lack of use, as was a Taxi-share service. Cllr Woodward has raised the issue again with the local bus company and county council.