A district council has shown the value of investment and innovation in stimulating economic growth by creating a new enterprise park from scratch.
East Hampshire District Council announced the completion of 20,000 square feet of employment space in Liphook this week.
The new development, called Ordnance Business Park, was instigated by the council as part of a solution to a shortage of high-quality premises in the district.
The council identified the location, a former military site, as an ideal location for business use. Its Economic Development team oversaw the planning process and the construction of the three buildings for office and light industrial use.
A £4 million investment - £2.5 million from EHDC and £1.5 million from the Enterprise M3 LEP – helped acquire the site and deliver the build.
Through an innovative commercial agreement, the rental income from resident businesses will be re-invested in furthering the growth of the local economy.
Cllr Glynis Watts, East Hampshire District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “EHDC is one of the country’s most business-friendly councils and the redevelopment of this site has been one of our most important economic projects over the last few years.
“We needed more business space in the district and identified this site as an ideal location. As a council we have driven this project through from inception to completion and it just shows what can be achieved with determination and positive partnerships.
“It is incredibly satisfying to see the new businesses settling in, creating jobs and boosting our local economy.
“The project underlines EHDC’s commitment to innovation, commercialism and supporting local business growth – this will continue to be our strategy moving forward.”
The facility has attracted significant interest from businesses with two hi-tech, high-growth companies having already moved in. These include Bafta-winning Zen Broadcast and Lumi, a global provider of audience engagement technology.
Dave Axam, Chair of Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “Creating high quality employment space and a “can do” culture for high growth innovative businesses is at the heart of what the Enterprise M3 LEP does. We are delighted that our investment in this project and our work with East Hampshire District Council is delivering such great business results.”
The site, previously the Army Ordnance Supply Unit (OSU), on Midhurst Road, in Liphook, contains two office buildings and a terrace of three light industrial units.