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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council July 2009 (finalised November 2009)


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Contents

Summary .................................................................................................................................... i 1: Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1 2: Situating Whitehill Bordon spatially .................................................................................. 4 3: Character of, and challenges for, Whitehill Bordon....................................................... 20 4: Adding robustness to the strategy: Development scenarios for Whitehill Bordon .. 31 5: Potential roles for Whitehill Bordon ................................................................................ 37 6: Making the four different roles happen ........................................................................... 47 Annex A: List of consultees................................................................................................ A-1 Annex B: Additional information regarding the potential economic roles for Whitehill Bordon................................................................................................................................... B-1 Annex C: Making use of MoD buildings for employment ................................................ C-1

Contact:

Robert Willis

Tel:

Approved by:

Christine Doel

Date:

0207 307 7140

email:

rwillis@sqw.co.uk

12th November 2009

Director

www.sqw.co.uk


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Summary

1.

The announcement in July 2009 that Whitehill Bordon has been designated as one of England’s first Eco-Towns brings with it huge opportunities. To date, Whitehill Bordon’s history has been dominated by Bordon Garrison, both as an employer and in terms of the town’s physical make-up. However, over the next few years, the army training facility will be relocated and the Garrison will close. As a place, Whitehill Bordon will change. But with Eco-Town status, there is real scope for the “Green Town Vision” – initiated by local interest groups – to become a reality, transforming prospects for the people who live and work in the town.

2.

In working towards this new future for Whitehill Bordon, it is very important that plans are put in place to ensure – as far as possible – that the town is a place in which people can find good and fulfilling jobs. This means that we have to think hard about opportunities for economic development and the steps that can be taken now to ensure that the Eco-Town is a great place for “doing business” – both now, and over at least the next two decades.

3.

Some of these opportunities arise from Whitehill Bordon’s location within both Hampshire and the South East. For example, not far to the north are Farnborough, Farnham and the other Blackwater Valley towns; this area has a strong aerospace cluster and there ought to be linked opportunities for Whitehill Bordon, particularly given the skills profile of its resident population. Just to the south of the town is the new South Downs National Park and it may be that Whitehill Bordon could position itself as a “gateway” to this amenity, generating jobs and business opportunities in the process.

4.

Planning for economic development over the medium-long term is never easy. We cannot predict now what the UK economy will be like in 2020 or whether inward investors will be looking for significant sites in the south of England. What we can do, however, is to prepare Whitehill Bordon to be “strategically responsive” in economic development terms. This means that we need to identify actions and interventions that “make sense” even though there are some significant uncertainties.

5.

Specifically for Whitehill Bordon, two of the most important “unknowns” relate to the exact phasing of the Garrison’s closure and the extent to which high levels of public sector funding will be available to “pump prime” the Eco-Town venture. From an economic development point of view, we need a strategy and actions that “make sense” whatever happens. To this end, we identify three “what if?” scenarios with regard to the context for the town’s development. The scenarios are simply used as a tool for building in robustness and ensuring that the economic futures that Whitehill Bordon defines for itself are as resilient as possible.

6.

Looking ahead, it is important that steps are taken now to position Whitehill Bordon to be “strategically responsive” in economic development terms. Some actions can be undertaken immediately; for example, it would make sense to talk to the Ministry of Defence and establish whether any building might be released quickly for employment uses. Other actions i


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

are for later – for example, a concerted marketing campaign to attract environmental businesses, particularly those with competencies linked to retrofitting, to the Eco-Town. 7.

Significant progress has been made with the masterplan for Whitehill Bordon. In planning for a sustainable economic future, the masterplan and the actions identified within this document need to be taken forward together: the two are fundamentally intertwined and both need to be advanced with purpose.

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

1: Introduction

1.1

In April 2009, SQW Consulting (SQW) was commissioned by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council and East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) to examine economic potentials linked to the future of Whitehill Bordon. This document presents the findings from our study.

Background 1.2

Whitehill Bordon is a settlement with a population of around 14,000 people. It is, fundamentally, a garrison town which is dominated by Bordon Garrison, both in terms of its physical make-up and with respect to its economic base. The Garrison was first established in the mid-nineteenth century and the development of sizeable army encampments followed early in the 20th century. Subsequently, these have been repurposed and redeveloped in response to changing military imperatives, but the physical legacy of more than a century of military activity is clearly in evidence: to the north are the Louisburg Barracks, to the west are extensive buildings which house the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (SEME). Across the town, a good proportion of the housing stock is occupied by military personnel and their families (although some of it is now owned by Annington Homes on a virtual freehold). The Garrison’s economic footprint accounts for a substantial proportion of local employment: in addition to induced employment (mainly local services), this includes over 600 military jobs and 130 civilian ones, and – through Vosper Thorneycroft – around 350 training-related jobs.

1.3

Following the Defence Training Review (DTR), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced its intention to relocate its army training facility from Whitehill Bordon to St Athan in South Wales and to effect the phased closure of the Bordon Garrison. The exact timing of this process is still uncertain, but the implications of this decision for the town are substantial. The release of brownfield land represents a substantial development opportunity for the South East region and one that is recognised explicitly through Policy AOSR3 and through the area’s designation as a Strategic Development Area in the South East Plan. However the transition to a new economic role will not be straightforward.

1.4

It is within this overall context that proposals for a radical transformation of the town have emerged. A “Green Town Vision” was initiated by local interest groups and has been developed over a number of years, led by the multi-agency Whitehill Bordon Opportunity Group and endorsed by local people. It substantially predates central government’s enthusiasm for eco-towns and the settlement’s subsequent designation as an eco-town in July 2009.

1.5

The eco-town proposal is to create a town with a population of up to 27,000 people. New development will reinvigorate the current settlement and radically transform its image, role in the economic sub-region and internal functionality. To this end, the South East Plan makes provision for up to 5,500 new homes (subject to further testing). Consistent with formal

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

criteria for eco-town designation, the intention is that these should be built to level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. To achieve sustainability, local employment opportunities are essential and the masterplan, currently being prepared by EDAW, shows how up to 5,500 jobs could be accommodated.

Our study 1.6

Within this context, SQW was commissioned to generate an evidentially robust “economic strategy” for Whitehill Bordon – setting out the economic roles and functions for the ecotown, and the actions to bring them forward.

1.7

In working through this process, we have considered the “stock” of economic assets/activities within the area already, most notably those linked to the MoD’s army training facility. We have reflected on the intrinsic nature of an eco-town in terms of its potentially distinctive appeal to certain types of activity. Whitehill Bordon’s economic potential has also been considered within the context of:

1.8

the rest of East Hampshire (and particularly the economic character and prospects of the towns of Alton, Petersfield, and Horndean)

the wider sub-region, notably South Hampshire (the area covered by the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire) and Blackwater Valley/Western Corridor.

In working through this process, we have exchanged information with EDAW, recognising that the economic roles/functions (defined by SQW) need to be broadly consistent with the physical character of the spatial footprint for economic activity set out in the masterplan. “Consistency” in this context has encompassed two key dimensions: •

a recognition that economic roles/functions need to influence the nature of employment land and premises

some sense of the overall scale of employment opportunities, from a demand side/market reality perspective.

Structure of the report 1.9

The report is structured as follows: •

Chapter 2 considers the spatial context in terms of East Hampshire, Basingstoke (to the north west), Blackwater Valley/Western Corridor (north and north east) and South Hampshire (south)

Chapter 3 then examines the character of Whitehill Bordon currently – as a place to live, work and do business (i.e. the local asset base upon which future economic growth needs to be based)

while eco-town status has recently been secured, there are still many uncertainties with regard to future redevelopment processes for Whitehill Bordon: the timing and phasing of garrison relocation is unclear, as is the scale of public and private sector 2


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

resource that will be available over the medium term to support the delivery of the eco-town. This uncertainty creates obvious challenges for the economic strategy. Whilst it is essential to identify and pursue actions now, it is important that these “stack up” despite the uncertainties. In order to test this, Chapter 4 considers three possible “what if?” scenarios that could, plausibly, define the context for the town’s future development. None of these scenarios is in any sense a “forecast” or “vision” for Whitehill Bordon and neither is it a judgement on what we expect to happen; instead, the purpose of the scenarios is simply to probe and challenge the emerging thinking with regard to future economic roles and functions and to ensure that the economic future(s) that Whitehill Bordon defines for itself is as robust and resilient as possible

1.10

in Chapter 5, we consider potential economic roles and functions that could – realistically – be advanced in Whitehill Bordon through positive intervention. Each of these roles is grounded in specific assets and/or opportunities and – although challenging – each is credible.

finally, Chapter 6 suggests a set of early actions to effect the roles outlined in Chapter 5.

There are three supporting annexes. These provide a list of our consultees for this project (Annex A); background evidence in support of the roles for Whitehill Bordon defined in Chapter 5 (Annex B); and specific comments on the re-use of MoD buildings for future employment purposes (Annex C).

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

2: Situating Whitehill Bordon spatially

Introduction 2.1

2.2

In seeking to define – and then effect – a new economic purpose for Whitehill Bordon, it is essential to situate the town appropriately within its spatial context for two quite different reasons: •

first, the town’s geographical location is itself a source of opportunities and constraints, and its future economic role(s) need to be informed by this context of geographical inter-relationships

second, for the public sector, economic interventions in one place will seldom be supported if their effect is simply to displace activity from another (the only real exception to this might be situations in which one local economy is seriously overheating1). Put another way, for EHDC, a solution to Whitehill Bordon’s economic challenges that has the effect of creating problems in Petersfield or Alton will not be tenable (unless mitigating actions are also taken).

For both reasons, then, Whitehill Bordon’s geographical situation – defined in terms of interrelationships with other places – is really very important. In this chapter, we consider the town’s situation at two spatial scales: within the context of East Hampshire and then looking further afield in relation to the town’s wider sub-regional economic geography. To inform this discussion, a map of the town’s geographical situation is provided in Figure 2-1.

Situating Whitehill Bordon – in the context of East Hampshire 2.3

East Hampshire is an overwhelmingly rural local authority district. Hampshire County Environment Department’s 2008-based Small Area Population Forecasts suggest that in 2008, the district’s population totalled about 112,000 people. Within the district, the largest single urban area – with a population of 17,000 people – was Alton, followed by Petersfield and Whitehill Bordon (both about 14,000), and then the settlement of Horndean (12,000). East Hampshire as a whole therefore needs to be understood in terms of a network of small towns with no locally dominant centre but with an extensive rural area and smaller towns and villages.

1 As we consider later, concerns with regard to overheating have been raised – over the medium-long term – with regard to the growth prospects of the Blackwater Valley

4


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council Figure 2-1: Situating Whitehill Bordon

Source: OS Copyright: Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright. License number 100019086; Collins Bartholomew: Digital Map Data © Collins Bartholomew Ltd (2008)

Local planning context 2.4

East Hampshire’s Local Plan (Second Review 1996-2011) was adopted in March 2006. It provides the current local planning framework. It describes East Hampshire as being “based around the two market towns of Petersfield and Alton with other major centres at Whitehill/Bordon and Horndean”. Its policies emphasise strongly the need for development that is sustainable and, within this context, some priority – e.g. Policy GS1 – is given to retaining the “distinctiveness, intrinsic character, setting and individual identity of settlements” and “reducing the need to travel, particularly by car”. More specific 5


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

development proposals in relation to the location of both housing and jobs are set strongly within this context. Hence although the need to allocate land as extensions to settlements is not ruled out, the policy emphasis is on “making the best use of land within the settlements defined with a settlement policy boundary with priority given to the re-use of previouslydeveloped land and buildings”. 2.5

The adopted Local Plan will provide the local planning framework until a Core Strategy is adopted as part of the new Local Development Framework (which is likely to be in 2011). The new LDF will be informed by PPS1 (including the recently-published supplement relating to Eco-Towns) and hence it will reflect the opportunity presented by the designation of Whitehill Bordon. The new LDF will run to 2026. The intention is that the masterplan for Whitehill Bordon – currently under preparation – will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

2.6

Separately – through Policy AOSR3 and a Strategic Development Area designation – the South East Plan (which substantially post-dates the extant Local Plan for East Hampshire and the findings of the Defence Training Review) recognises the particular opportunities for Whitehill Bordon, linked to the relocation of the Bordon Garrison. However early plans for Whitehill Bordon will need to be advanced within the district-wide policy framework summarised in the Local Plan (and subsequently through the LDF). Against this local planning policy backdrop, it is important to understand something of the character of the other main settlements within East Hampshire – and Whitehill Bordon’s relationships with them. Patterns of commuting between the main settlements within East Hampshire (A) Overall patterns of commuting

2.7

One key insight into the character of economic relationships between places may be derived from an analysis of commuting flows. Based on data from the 2001 Census, Table 2-1 shows where workers who live in each of the four main settlements in East Hampshire work, distinguishing (in terms of workplace location) between each of the four main settlements, other locations inside East Hampshire and locations outside of the district2.

2

Census commuting flow data include all permanent military personnel and a large proportion of military trainees who are living in temporary accommodation. In the case of Whitehill Bordon, this will have two important consequences in relation to the commuting flow data: it will increase the overall proportion of working residents who live and work in the town; and it will increase the proportion of workers in higher occupation groups that live and work in town, as a large proportion of permanent military personnel will state the top three occupational groups in their Census returns. These issues are considered in detail later 6


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Table 2-1: Commuting flows between the main settlements in East Hampshire – All occupational groups, 2001 Place of employment – i.e. where people work Area

Whitehill Place of residence – i.e. where people live

Whitehill

Alton

Horndean

Petersfield

Elsewhere in East Hants

Elsewhere in England & Wales

Total

3,453

361

6

122

1,055

2,905

7,902

Alton

145

3,667

9

45

912

2,729

7,507

Horndean

42

31

1,577

327

241

4,273

6,491

Petersfield

141

117

40

2,815

669

2,522

6,304

Elsewhere in East Hants

789

1,461

189

1,063

10,658

12,785

26,945

Elsewhere in England & Wales

1,516

2,173

1,651

2,982

4,934

23,559,456

23,572,712

Source: National Statistics website: www.statistics.gov.uk Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI)

2.8

2.9

From these headline data, a number of important observations can be made: •

about a quarter of Horndean’s resident workers have workplaces within Horndean. For all three other settlements – including Whitehill – the level of self containment is notably higher: in each case around 50% of resident workers have workplaces within their home settlement

the volume of commuting flows between each of the four towns is very limited indeed. About 5% of Whitehill’s resident workers have workplaces in Alton, and a similar proportion of Horndean’s resident workers have workplaces in Petersfield, but these are the highest proportions (and also, by some margin, the biggest absolute numbers) across the matrix

all four towns supply more workers to workplaces “elsewhere in East Hampshire” than to all three of the other major settlements within the district in combination; this points again to the district’s rurality and the fact that there really is not a dominant centre for employment

if we exclude the resident workers that work within their home town, all four settlements supply more workers to workplaces outside East Hampshire than within it. The most extreme in this context is Horndean where over 60% of all resident workers (and over 80% of workers who commute out of Horndean to work) have workplaces outside East Hampshire.

In terms of the working population as a whole, the conclusion, then, is that a good number of people work within their home settlements but thereafter, East Hampshire is characterised by a multiplicity of travel to work patterns which, for a majority of workers, involve work places outside the district. 7


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

2.10

Table 2-2 replicates Table 2-1 except that the focus now is on part of the workforce only: those in higher occupational groups (managers and senior officials; professional occupations; and associate professional and technical occupations). The key messages from Table 2-2 are actually very similar to Table 2-1: even amongst the higher occupational groups, the proportion of workers working within their home settlement is quite high (approaching 40% everywhere other than Horndean); the proportion commuting to one of East Hampshire’s other main settlements is consistently low; and workers who do not work in their home town are much more likely to work outside the district than elsewhere in East Hampshire. Table 2-2: Commuting flows between the main settlements in East Hampshire – managers and senior officials; professional occupations; and associate professional and technical occupations, 2001 Place of employment – i.e. where people work Area

Whitehill

Alton

Horndean

Petersfield

Elsewhere in East Hants

Elsewhere in England & Wales

1,177

122

3

33

310

1,323

2,968

Alton

63

1,094

3

23

288

1,642

3,113

Horndean

21

14

563

100

77

2,267

3,042

Petersfield

70

57

19

999

222

1,659

3,026

Elsewhere in East Hants

299

576

54

360

4,370

8,167

13,826

Elsewhere in England & Wales

900

1,370

562

1,251

2,277

9,434,044

9,440,404

Whitehill

Place of residence – i.e. where people live

Total

Source: National Statistics website: www.statistics.gov.uk Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI)

2.11

From Tables 2-1 and 2-2, we can generate one further set of data that starts – arguably – to convey something of the character – in labour market terms – of the district’s four key settlements, and the relationships between them. By dividing the data in Table 2-2 (numerator) by that in Table 2-1 (denominator), we can calculate the incidence of workers from the higher occupational groups within each cell in the matrix; for example (and this is how to read Table 2-3), 45% of the workers commuting from Horndean to Alton are from amongst the higher occupational groups as compared to 34% of those commuting from Whitehill to Alton.

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Table 2-3: Workers from higher occupational groups (i.e. managers and senior officials; professional occupations; and associate professional and technical occupations) as a proportion of total travel to work flows, 2001 Place of employment – i.e. where people work Area

Place of residence – i.e. where people live

Whitehill

Alton

Horndean

Petersfield

Elsewhere in East Hants

Elsewhere in England & Wales

Total

Whitehill

34%

34%

50%

27%

29%

46%

38%

Alton

43%

30%

33%

51%

32%

60%

41%

Horndean

50%

45%

36%

31%

32%

53%

47%

Petersfield

50%

49%

48%

35%

33%

66%

48%

Elsewhere in East Hants

38%

39%

29%

34%

41%

64%

51%

Elsewhere in England & Wales

59%

63%

34%

42%

46%

40%

40%

Source: National Statistics website: www.statistics.gov.uk Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI)

2.12

Table 2-3 shows that among the four towns in East Hampshire, overall, between 38% (Whitehill) and 48% (Petersfield) of resident workers have higher order occupations. Moreover, for all four main settlements, around a third of the local people that work locally (i.e. the shaded cells from within the table) have higher order occupations. However, whereas 46% of Whitehill’s working residents who commute to work outside East Hampshire are in higher order occupations, the corresponding figure for Petersfield is 66%. The implication, then, is that while most of Whitehill’s long distance out-commuters are from the lower occupational groups, Petersfield’s out-commuters are in higher order occupations.

2.13

Corroboration of the implied underlying differences in the skills profile of residents across the market towns is provided by Table 2-4. This suggests that almost 40% of Petersfield’s total resident population aged 16-74 is qualified to NVQ Level 3 or above (equivalent to at least A level). The corresponding figure for Whitehill is little more than 20%. Table 2-4: Qualifications of the resident population aged 16-74 in each of East Hampshire’s market towns All people aged 16-74

All people aged 16-74 with no or level 1 qualifications (or qualifications unknown)

%

All people aged 16-74 with level 3, 4 or 5

%

Alton

11521

5353

46%

3660

32%

Horndean

9278

4444

48%

2708

29%

Petersfield

9273

3762

41%

3477

37%

Whitehill Source: 2001 Census

10071

5028

50%

2228

22%

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

(b) Understanding the significance of employment related to the Garrison within the overall picture

2.14

Whitehill Bordon is distinctive as a Garrison town and military/defence-related activity has a significant bearing on both the range of jobs provided within the town and the character of the resident workforce. Based on the Census, the two tables that follow attempt to shed some light on patterns of in-commuting to Whitehill Bordon amongst (a) military workers and their dependants (Table 2-5) and (b) non-military workers in defence activities (Table 2-6); examples of the latter would include civilian employees working for defence contractors. Table 2-5: Whitehill Bordon military workers and dependants: Total number, and number in higher occupational groups Place of employment – i.e. where people work Area

Place of residence – i.e. where people live

Number of military workers working in Whitehill Bordon, and their dependants

Number of military workers working in Whitehill Bordon, and their dependants – from among higher occupational groups

% of higher occupational groups as proportion of the total

1,170*

603*

52%

Alton

0

0

N/A

Horndean

3

3

100%

Petersfield

9

6

67%

Elsewhere in East Hants

27

19

70%

Outside East Hants

356

238

67%

Whitehill

Total 1,565 869 56% Source: National Statistics website: www.statistics.gov.uk Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) *This figure includes all military personnel that live and work in Whitehill Bordon as well as 263 dependants of military personnel that are in employment and live in the town

Table 2-6: Non military defence workers in Whitehill Bordon: Total number, and number in higher occupational groups Place of employment – i.e. where people work Area

Place of residence – i.e. where people live

Number of nonmilitary defence workers working in Whitehill Bordon

Number of non-military defence workers working in Whitehill Bordon – from among higher occupational groups

% of higher occupational groups as proportion of the total

Whitehill

191

34

18%

Alton

14

0

0%

Horndean

11

3

27%

Petersfield

18

4

22%

Elsewhere in East Hants

73

20

27%

Outside East Hants

111

41

37%

Total 418 102 24% Source: National Statistics website: www.statistics.gov.uk Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI)

2.15

ONS advises that the data in the two tables should not be added together (because there is a degree of double-counting). In ball-park figures, however, the two tables suggest that there were around 2,000 workers working in military and defence-related jobs in Whitehill Bordon at the time of the last Census. Of these, over 1,300 (i.e. nearly 70%) lived locally. One important inference, therefore, is that the earlier observation that over 50% of Whitehill 10


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Bordon’s resident workers have workplaces locally (see para 2.8) is strongly influenced by the Garrison; if Garrison-related employment (whether military or civilian) is excluded, the town’s level of “underlying” self-containment is much reduced. 2.16

Turning to workers in higher occupational groups, some further important conclusions may be drawn from the data: •

amongst military workers and their dependants working in Whitehill Bordon in higher occupational groups, just over half lived locally. This observation is important in relation to the data shown in Table 2-3: if military employment is stripped out, the propensity for those in higher occupational groups to live in Whitehill Bordon is reduced. This in turn further magnifies the contrast – in labour market terms – between Whitehill Bordon and other towns in East Hampshire.

amongst those in higher occupational groups working in non-military defence-related activities in Whitehill Bordon, under 20% lived locally (see Table 2-6).

Understanding the character of East Hampshire’s key settlements 2.17

What then of the underlying character – particularly in relation to the economic base – of each of East Hampshire’s key settlements? Whitehill Bordon is the focus for detailed consideration in Chapter 3. In the paragraphs that follow – and drawing both on consultation evidence and a review of existing reports – we consider each of the other settlements in turn. Alton

2.18

Alton is currently the largest settlement in East Hampshire and – located about 12 km to the west of Whitehill Bordon – it is the most proximate to the proposed eco-town. The town has a distinctive economic character. Historically, barley was brought to Alton for malting and the town was a focus for brewing; Coors Brewing Company still has a brewery operating locally. However Alton’s economic base is diverse: there are four main industrial areas (Mill Lane (dating from the 1960s and 70s), Newman Lane, Caker Stream and Omega Park (dating from the 1980s) which between them account for around 100 businesses operating across a range of sectors. Over recent months, the economy of Alton has been under some pressure. In November 2008, travel insurance provider Inter Group (part of RBS Insurance Division) announced plans to close its office in Alton with the loss of well over 100 local jobs. Consistent with this, Roger Tym and Partners’ employment land review (the Tym report) points to spare capacity within Alton and relatively sluggish demand for employment sites and premises3.

2.19

Locally, Alton plays an important role with regard to secondary and further education. Alton College is a sixth-form college and its recent Ofsted reports have been outstanding. Additionally, within the town, Treloar College is a specialist national college for young people with disabilities.

3

East Hampshire Employment Land Review – completed by Roger Tym and Partners for East Hampshire District Council, May 2008 11


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

2.20

Although described by the Tym report as “stranded between the M3 and the A3 Corridors”, Alton is relatively well connected. From Alton Station, there is a regular rail service to London Waterloo, a journey that takes just over an hour. The town is by-passed by – but adjacent to – the A31 (the road linking Winchester to the south west with Guildford (via Farnham) to the north east). But in travel-to-work terms, Alton appears to have a reasonably strong relationship with Basingstoke, which is located some 20km to the north. Petersfield

2.21

Located to the south west of Whitehill Bordon, Petersfield is – probably – the most buoyant (and certainly the most well known) of East Hampshire’s market towns; and as demonstrated in Table 2-4, it has the strongest skills profile (measured in terms of qualifications) amongst its resident population. It is well connected to London Waterloo by rail and – with the imminent completion of the A3 tunnel at Hindhead – its links by road to Portsmouth and Guildford (and London) will improve further. Among the four East Hampshire towns, Petersfield’s links – through commuting – to central London are already by far the strongest.

2.22

Petersfield is the administrative centre of East Hampshire, and the district council is a major local employer. In, or close to, the town there are some high profile businesses including Whitman Laboratories (part of Estee Lauder) and the Norwegian-owned oil-supply firm Aibel Ltd, which in recent years added an engineering facility to its UK head office in Petersfield. The Bedford Road estate (on the west side of Petersfield) is the main focus for light industry; almost fully developed, this is described by the Tym report as a “highly prominent site with good access from the main road network”. Reporting the views of local agents, the comment is made that a small enterprise centre linked to Bedford Road would be a useful addition. However, reporting the views of local stakeholders, the Tym report observes further that Petersfield – like every other market town in East Hampshire – struggles to achieve critical mass in terms of local service provision.

2.23

Alone amongst East Hampshire’s market towns, Petersfield is firmly within the newly designated South Downs National Park: Alton and Whitehill Bordon are to the north of its northern boundary, while Horndean abuts its southern boundary. For that reason, the scope for future new development within or close to Petersfield must be strictly limited. Given Petersfield’s comparative buoyancy, this ought to be something of an opportunity for Whitehill Bordon – and indeed the other urban areas. Horndean

2.24

Among East Hampshire’s urban areas, Horndean is the smallest and – in some respects – it is quite distinctively different. It is located in the southern-most tip of the district and to the south of the new National Park. It is locationally and functionally very close to Havant, Waterlooville and the wider Portsmouth conurbation, and in policy terms it is part of the PUSH area. Hence compared to Alton and Whitehill Bordon, it – arguably – “faces in the opposite direction”.

2.25

Historically, Horndean – like Alton – was a brewing town. For well over a century, it was home to Gales Brewery. In 2005, this was acquired by Fuller’s Brewery and then, in 2006,

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

the brewery was closed. According to the Tym report, the brewery site represents a good opportunity for redevelopment and we understand that principles for development have been agreed. 2.26

More generally, within the context of ambitious overall targets for employment provision in the PUSH area, some contribution is expected from new development in Horndean. While the scale of planned growth is modest compared to the rest of PUSH, it is significant locally.

Situating Whitehill Bordon – in its wider sub-regional context 2.27

From the perspective of functional economic relationships, administrative boundaries have no currency and – in the case of Whitehill Bordon – there is a need to look at actual or potential relationships that exist beyond the confines of East Hampshire. An analysis of commuting patterns again provides some real insights. Figure 2-2 provides an indicative map of outcommuting from Whitehill Bordon. The data suggest that – at district level – Waverley (in Surrey) is the largest single destination by some margin. Next comes Rushmoor in north Hampshire, followed by Guildford, also in Surrey, and then Hart (north Hampshire). Although there are flows to the south and west, the overarching message from Figure 2-2 – and one of some importance to the study as a whole – is that flows to the north and east of Whitehill Bordon dominate its travel to work geography. Figure 2-2: Patterns of out-commuting from Whitehill Bordon to locations outside East Hampshire

Source: Census 2001. Note that the thickness of the line is in proportion to the number of journeys to work

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

2.28

In seeking both to interpret the economic relationships depicted in Figure 2-2 – and anticipate how planned future growth might affect this economic geography over the medium-long term – it is important to refer to regional strategy; both the Regional Economic Strategy and Regional Spatial Strategy (South East Plan) have identified spatial priorities that will shape the sub-regional context for Whitehill Bordon over a 15-20 year time frame. Given the economic relationships that already exist (Figure 2-2), these spatial imperatives represent both an opportunity and threat in relation to the town’s development plans; account must be taken of them4. Blackwater Valley

2.29

From Figure 2-2, it is clear that the strongest commuting flows among out-commuters from Whitehill Bordon are to the north east of the town. From about 1996 – until the Examination in Public of the South East Plan in 2006 – this area was given a degree of policy visibility as the “Blackwater Valley”. This was identified as a polycentric area, defined around a series of settlements, most notably Farnborough, Aldershot, Camberley, Farnham and Fleet. Nine local authorities put their name to the venture, through the Blackwater Network.

2.30

The Blackwater Valley was considered to be quite distinctive in terms of its economic profile. Its defining characteristic was – and arguably still is – a strong aerospace cluster with linked information and communication technologies (ICT) underpinned by a strong military presence. Across the area, commuting flows were complicated and multi-directional but there was a strong sense that it functioned as an economic “whole”. In 2003 – prompted by the requirements of RPG9 – a sub-regional study of the Blackwater Valley was completed. Included within this was a summary analysis of the area’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is reproduced in Figure 2-3 below. Figure 2-3: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Blackwater Valley – as identified in the Sub-Regional Study, 2003 STRENGTHS •

Vibrant local economy with low levels of unemployment

Concentration of wealth and high value added economy

Nucleus for high technology research and development

Cluster of aerospace and high technology industries including multinationals

The Blackwater Valley is viewed by businesses as a good place to be located

Good access to international markets

Highly skilled professional/managerial workforce

High quality education

WEAKNESSES •

Lack of training opportunities within the Study Area

Labour shortages, particularly at medium and low skill levels

Restrictive planning policies / lack of sites limits business expansion

Many dormitory areas with few facilities apart from housing

Uncoordinated business support service

High level of dependence on private sector investment

Dependence on economies of adjoining areas including London

Shortage of medium sized firms due to lack of accommodation

4

Note that there is a strong relationship in terms of commuting – and also local services, etc. – between Whitehill Bordon and the larger towns of Haslemere and Guildford. These are not prioritised as development locations in either the RES or RSS and hence – given the arguments in para 2.28 – they are not considered further in this chapter. In terms of how Whitehill Bordon currently functions. the links are, however, important. Further reference is made to them in Chapter 3 14


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council •

Good quality housing stock

A high quality rural environment as demonstrated by the widespread application of international and national policy designations

A lack of low cost small dwellings to meet the broad range of housing needs

High cost of housing encourages essential workers to live at greater distance from their workplace, adding to transport problems

A multitude of dispersed travel demands is created by the lack of a single focal point within the Blackwater Valley

Public transport for local trips is unattractive in terms of frequency, operation and coverage

Poor local integration of the rail network which does not match the evolution of recent development patterns

Limited capacity for additional services and stations on key parts of the rail network

Fragmentation of policy, decision-making and investment among a multitude of local authorities and agencies

Low levels of deprivation

Generally good strategic road connections to south coast, London and wider south east and airports

A331 provides high-quality north-south spine for traffic whilst M3/A31 provides links east and west

Strategic rail services to London, Basingstoke, Reading and Guildford are fast, frequent and popular

Established co-ordination role of Blackwater Valley Network in support of continued development with links to business community

OPPORTUNITIES •

Range of settlement size and location

Consolidation of ICT industries

Potential to develop existing skills base and business networks to promote cluster development

Development of business aviation sector at Farnborough

Recognition of sub-regional importance of Blackwater Valley within RPG9 (South East)

This Study provides an opportunity to create a strategy and catalyst for addressing problems and agreeing a vision

THREATS •

International, national and local designations which safeguard land from development

Lack of smaller low cost housing

Continued growth in traffic volumes and congestion

Dependence on ICT, service and defence related industries

Consolidation of existing businesses

Concerns that labour market may become overheated

Employers relocate due to labour supply restrictions Other areas may become more attractive to large businesses if labour supply is restricted in the Blackwater Valley

Expansion of University of Surrey and HE colleges provides training opportunities and catalyst for growth

Relatively high proportion of high-tech companies with potential to introduce flexible working practices

High continued degree of car dependency (and resistance to demand management) amongst residents and employees

A single centre for higher order town centre functions would secure better facilities than if they were shared among several centres

High proportion of private non-residential parking within town centres and employment sites

Increase in population and employment could provide firmer economic justification for public transport services

Commercial objectives of public transport operators on non-sustainable routes

Development opportunities for key public transport hubs in town centres

Policy objective differences between Blackwater Valley Network authorities

Potential to create enhanced recreational opportunities along the river valley thereby enhancing the attractiveness of the area

Shortage of public sector staff and skills in delivering services

Public opposition to new development

Impact of development on the quality of the environment

Redevelopment of brownfield sites and MOD sites offer potential for showcases of sustainable development

Potential to improve rail-bus integration and spare capacity for bus priority

Mass Transit Studies provide opportunities for a step change in public transport provision

Planned direct rail link to Heathrow

Source: Blackwater Valley Sub-Regional Study – completed by WS Atkins and Ancer Spa, 2003

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

2.31

In policy terms, the Blackwater Valley – as a spatial construct – has rather lost its way. The South East Plan Inspectors recognised the area’s importance but nevertheless agreed that it could be accommodated within an expanded “Western Corridor and Blackwater Valley” subregion – a huge area encompassing the whole of the Thames Valley as well as Blackwater Valley and extending as far west as Newbury (and beyond) and as far south as Basingstoke. Within this geography, the individual Blackwater Valley towns are not afforded great priority: Camberley, Farnborough and Aldershot are all identified as secondary regional centres, but the policy emphasis is on Reading and – to a lesser extent – Basingstoke. In the Regional Economic Strategy – published by SEEDA in 2006 – reference is made to the Blackwater Valley but here it is submerged within the concept of “Inner South East”. Within the RES – perhaps because of the constraints to housing and employment growth linked to the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area – the Blackwater Valley is not identified as either one of the region’s seven Diamonds for Investment and Growth, or a New Growth Point.

2.32

Despite the vagaries of regional strategy, the opportunities and challenges facing the Blackwater Valley have not changed fundamentally since the 2003 Sub-Regional Strategy was crafted. The area retains a strong concentration of knowledge-based activities with the aerospace cluster – underpinned by a strong military presence – at its core. As evidenced through commuting flows, Whitehill Bordon’s economy already leans strongly to the north and east – and into the heart of the Blackwater Valley. Particularly given the town’s economic character and heritage, the opportunities for synergistic links into the Blackwater Valley should inform its long term ambitions for economic growth; they need to be harnessed creatively. Basingstoke

2.33

To the north west of Whitehill Bordon is Basingstoke. In terms of its strategic profile, this area has been in the ascendancy over recent years: as intimated above, in RSS, it is identified as a regional hub within the extensive Western Corridor and Blackwater Valley sub-region while the RES designates it as a Diamond for Investment and Growth. It is also a New Growth Point. Hence the expectation is that Basingstoke will be a particular focus for accelerated employment, GVA and housing growth over the period of the RES and South East Plan.

2.34

The draft economic strategy for Basingstoke and Deane dated March 2009 – Driving Economic Prosperity – describes the area’s economy as strongly knowledge-based, with a third of jobs in the knowledge economy. Within the Borough, the largest sector – finance, IT and business support – has seen rapid growth over the recent past, although its vulnerability in the context of economic downturn is acknowledged. Underlying challenges are also exacerbated by a local skills base that is less strong than in adjacent areas.

2.35

Looking ahead, one of the Borough’s principal assets is considered to be a strong supply of both modern office space and business park accommodation in the context of a good strategic location in relation to the transport network – but this assessment is actually quite doubleedged. Basing View is a very substantial town centre regeneration project: it covers nearly 30ha of land to the east of the town centre and although already home to some major companies (AA, Thales, Sun Life, Unum Provident, Penningtons Solicitors and Clydesdale 16


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Bank), the intention is to effect further mixed use regeneration on a very large scale. However there is a concern that a large proportion of the Borough’s premises – dating from the expansion of Basingstoke in the 1960s and 1970s – are approaching obsolescence. For Basingstoke, therefore, the future is one of both opportunities and threats and although the area has some strengths, its long term economic growth trajectory should not be seen as unproblematic. 2.36

Basingstoke is about 40 km from Whitehill Bordon, and the travel time is estimated to be around 40 minutes. However data from the 2001 Census suggest very little commuting between the two towns. While Alton is arguably within Basingstoke’s hinterland – and therefore influenced by its growth ambitions – Whitehill Bordon currently is not. Hence in defining Whitehill Bordon’s future opportunities for economic regeneration and growth, the connection to Basingstoke is arguably not as important as it might initially appear. Currently there arte no proposals to upgrade the indirect road connections between Whitehill Bordon and Basingstoke. South Hampshire – and PUSH

2.37

2.38

Horndean – the fourth of East Hampshire’s urban areas – is on the edge, functionally, of South Hampshire. Driven forward by the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire – and encompassing the two cities of Southampton and Portsmouth, and their surrounding subregions – this area has really moved forward over recent years. South Hampshire features strongly in both the RES and South East Plan and it has been afforded every designation of significance: a Diamond for Investment and Growth, Growth Point, and Southampton and Portsmouth are both Regional Hubs (Policy SP2) and Centres of Significant Change (Policy TC1). Galvanised by a very active local partnership across eleven local authorities, the area has moved forward with purpose. Its key objectives are summarised as •

promoting economic success by seeking to create a diverse economy where business, enterprise and individuals can flourish, underpinned by modern skills

providing the homes we need in sustainable communities

building more cohesive communities and reducing inequalities, closing the gap between deprived areas and the economic performance of PUSH sub-region

investing in infrastructure and sustainable solutions

promoting a better quality of life by safeguarding our environment and investing in our urban areas5.

Within this overall context, PUSH has pursued a robust and ambitious economic growth strategy. Its principal aim is to raise the GVA growth rate from about 2.7% pa in 2006 to 3.5% pa in 2026. Although ambitious, PUSH has sponsored a good deal of research which has tested the deliverability of this objective and it has identified a number of sectoral priorities in response. Across South Hampshire, the intention is to support the growth of

5

http://www.push.gov.uk/about_push/vision/intro.aspx 17


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

businesses in advanced manufacturing, business services, logistics and distribution, and to create 59,000 new jobs in these sectors. 2.39

In support, South Hampshire has substantial resources to bring to bear. This includes, inter alia, two significant higher education institutions with highly relevant research specialisms and the opportunities linked to genuine international gateways at the ports and airport.

2.40

The South Hampshire growth programme includes within it two Strategic Development Areas – at Hedge End and north of Fareham. In the medium term, these should form significant and sizeable growth locations with provision for 6,000 and 10,000 net additional dwellings respectively.

2.41

The South Hampshire growth agenda is regionally – if not nationally – significant, but how important is it functionally for Whitehill Bordon? Currently the level of out-commuting from the town to South Hampshire is relatively modest; indeed, the suggestion has been made that in-commuting (certainly to Petersfield and other parts of southern East Hampshire) might be of greater significance. The scale of planned growth in South Hampshire is such that it may well increasingly face inwards (in terms of the relationship between housing and jobs); at any rate, that is precisely what planning policy would demand. Whilst there might be some very specific opportunities in relation to Whitehill Bordon (e.g. in relation to technical training), the extent of synergy is probably insufficient to help drive Whitehill Bordon’s economic growth processes; it needs to look elsewhere.

Conclusion 2.42

This chapter has demonstrated that Whitehill Bordon is ensconced in two sets of spatial relationships – one within East Hampshire and a second defined on a broader sub-regional canvass. Both of these geographies are important in defining opportunities for the town’s economic future that might complement – rather than displace – the economic ambitions of places elsewhere6. Within this overall context, the principal conclusions of relevance to the Economic Potentials Study as a whole are summarised below. The position of Whitehill Bordon within East Hampshire

2.43

Our analysis points to two key conclusions with regard to the position of Whitehill Bordon in an East Hampshire context: •

currently, the links between Whitehill Bordon and the three other market towns in East Hampshire are actually quite limited: to the extent that Whitehill Bordon is “outward facing”, its principal links are to the east and north, into districts in Surrey and north Hampshire

across the four market towns within East Hampshire, the most buoyant economically is Petersfield. With the planned completion of the A3 bypass at Hindhead, its underlying growth prospects are likely to increase. On the other hand, Petersfield – alone among the East Hampshire market towns – is located within the newly-

6 Note however that there are opportunities for Whitehill Bordon beyond those that are a function of physical location; virtual connections, etc., are also very important

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designated South Downs National Park. In theory at least, consequential policies of constraint will limit Petersfield’s development potential and this could in turn create opportunities for Whitehill Bordon (and Alton and Horndean). 2.44

The implications of these observations are important. They suggest that an enhanced and redefined economic role for the expanded town ought to be achievable without displacing economic activity elsewhere in the District: on the basis of the available evidence, there is no suggestion that – in economic terms – the growth of Whitehill Bordon will impact adversely on Petersfield or Horndean, and whilst Alton is closer (geographically), its primary economic links are towards Basingstoke We build on this argument in Chapter 3, but the implications of it are important with regard to economic growth ambitions for Whitehill Bordon. Opportunities for Whitehill Bordon deriving from its sub-regional context

2.45

Whitehill Bordon’s wider sub-regional context is an important backdrop to its growth ambitions. Two concluding observations are particularly important: •

although its regional policy significance is much less clear-cut than it was five years ago, Whitehill Bordon appears to have a strong resonance with the Blackwater Valley. In both cases, a strong military legacy underpins a distinctive economic structure which – in the Blackwater Valley – manifests itself in a high value manufacturing cluster based around aerospace and ICT. Already, there is a good deal of out-commuting from Whitehill Bordon into the districts that comprise the core of the Blackwater Valley

through the South East Plan and the RES, policy priority has shifted decisively to Basingstoke (to the west of Whitehill Bordon) and South Hampshire (to the south). Currently, Whitehill Bordon has a very limited connection to either and in any case, the nature and scale of their growth ambitions ought to effect more, rather than less, self containment.

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

3: Character of, and challenges for, Whitehill Bordon

Introduction 3.1

Having described in some detail the local and sub-regional backdrop to Whitehill Bordon’s growth ambitions, this chapter reviews Whitehill Bordon’s current character; this assessment is important for it provides the foundation for a challenging – but also realistic – future strategy. Drawing on both consultation and documentary7 evidence, the chapter examines Whitehill Bordon as: •

a place to live

a place to work

a place to do business.

Whitehill Bordon as a place to live General population 3.2

Census data show that the resident population (including military personnel and trainees at Bordon Garrison) of Whitehill Bordon town8 stood at 13,953 in 2001. Mid-year population estimates9 show that there were 13,964 residents in mid-2007 indicating little growth over the intervening period.

3.3

As reported in the GVA Grimley baseline report, the age structure for the town in 2001 differed from the age structure of East Hampshire and the South East region. Specifically: •

the town had a higher proportion of young people (under the age of 16) than the comparator areas (22%, compared to 20% in East Hampshire and 19% in the South East). This was explained by the large number of young families living in the town and the high number of military dependants (700 at the time of the study) living in military quarters (concentrated in the Pinewood and Hogmoor wards).

the town had a substantially lower proportion of residents of retirement age (11%) compared to East Hampshire (21%) and the South East (20%). Whitehill Bordon also

7

Two documents have been especially important in this regard: The Whitehill/Bordon Opportunity: Revised Baseline Report: Main Report, Volume 2, September 2008, GVA Grimley: (the GVA baseline report); and The Whitehill Bordon Town Health Check and Action Plan Report, December 2004: (the Health Check report) 8 Whitehill Bordon town includes the local authority wards of Whitehill Deadwater, Whitehill Chase, Whitehill Pinewood, Whitehill Hogmoor and Whitehill Walldown 9 Mid-year population estimates, Neighbourhood Statistics 20


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

differed from its immediate hinterland10 (where 22% of residents were of retirement age or above). 3.4

Population forecasts11 for 2015 show the population at 13,964. Overall, therefore – and consistent with the recent past – very little future growth is anticipated. This needs to be seen alongside projections at a district level for East Hampshire where growth of 2.7% is projected between 2008 and 2015. Hence whilst the district is projected to grow steadily, Whitehill Bordon is not – apparently – part of this process. Looking further afield, East Hampshire’s projected growth itself needs to be recognised as being comparatively modest when considered alongside that for Hampshire and the South East. Garrison population

3.5

3.6

As a garrison town, Whitehill Bordon has a large number of resident military personnel. Bordon Garrison is home to the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (SEME). Recent estimates of the number of military personnel based at the Garrison are provided by the GVA Grimley baseline report. This suggested that: •

there are 630 permanent military staff based at the Garrison

there are approximately 1,200 students in training at any one time although every year, over 4,000 students undertake training at SEME.

Analysis of Census data suggests that 863 trainees registered Whitehill Bordon as their place of residence, some 337 short of the number of trainees estimated by the GVA Grimley Baseline Report. However, with training courses running from 1 week in duration to 12 months, those taking shorter courses may have registered another address as their place of residence when completing their Census return. Housing stock

3.7

Based on a report to the Whitehill Bordon Working Party in 200012, GVA Grimley notes that Whitehill Bordon had a higher proportion of social housing (excluding MoD family quarters) than East Hampshire (20% compared to 12%). This proportion was also higher than that for the other urban areas in the district: Alton (16%), Petersfield (13%) and Horndean (7%).

3.8

Census data show that 70% of households in Whitehill Bordon lived in owner occupied housing in 2001, while 17% lived in social rented housing (this probably reduces to 13% if MoD housing is excluded). The remainder lived in privately rented (13%) and rent free (1%) Housing. These data include MoD accommodation for permanent military staff and trainees13.

10

This area includes the towns and villages of Binsted, Lindford, Kingsley, Greatham, Grayshott, The Hangers and Forest, Liss, Bentley, Selbourne, Headley and Bramshott and Liphook 11 Hampshire County Council Department’s Small Area Population Forecasts 12 Whitehill Bordon Working Party, September 2000, East Hampshire District Council 13 Removing MoD accommodation from the analysis is not possible as it is unclear what proportion stated their accommodation as ‘private rented’ or ‘social rented’ in their Census returns 21


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Public transport infrastructure 3.9

At the time of the GVA Grimley baseline report, three bus services (numbers 13 and 18, and a rail-link bus to Liphook Railway Station) operated in Whitehill Bordon. However, the last of these services has now ceased to operate. Services 13 and 18 are part-subsidised by Alton College (service 13) and Farnborough College of Technology (service 18) to support residents’ access to further education and adult learning provision.

3.10

The GVA Grimley report also notes that existing bus services operating in Whitehill/Bordon predominantly provide access to local destinations. Some of these in turn provide access to local and national rail services.

3.11

Whitehill Bordon does not have a train station. The nearest is Liphook which provides hourly services between Portsmouth and London. Alton Railway Station, which is on the London Waterloo radial route, is the second closest station. Education infrastructure

3.12

Whitehill Bordon has six schools for primary school age children: Bordon Infant and Junior, Weyford Infant and Junior, and Woodley Primary and St Matthew’s CE Primary. The Hollywater School caters for pupils with complex learning difficulties ranging in age from Early Years to Year 14. There is one secondary school in the town, Mill Chase Community Technology College. This provides education for 11-16 year olds and in 2008 had 739 pupils on roll14. Historically, Mill Chase performed less well against County and National benchmarks. In 2007, it was ranked 71st out of 84 schools in the County. However this assessment needs to be balanced against a much stronger Contextual Value Added score. The historical attainment levels have served to reinforce the tendency for significant numbers of parents living within the catchment of Mill Chase to send their children to other nearby secondary schools, notably Eggars in Alton and Bohunt in Liphook. Both of these schools have GSCE attainment levels that are well above the national average.

3.13

However over recent years, significant improvements have been achieved at Mill Chase with 41% of pupils gaining 5 or more GCSEs at A*-C grade in 2008 (including English and Maths) and a further improvement to 49% (including English and Maths) in 2009, taking the school above the national average. This improvement coincided with the arrival of a new Head Teacher at the school. Our consultees commented that the arrival of the new Head is helping to improve perceptions of the school. There is additional tangible evidence of improved performance: our consultees noted that up to 40% of year 11 pupils from the school are now enrolling at Alton College, a significant increase on past patterns (which previously averaged around 33%). The 2009 results for Contextual Added Value showed a very strong performance by the School with a score of 1003.4. Its latest Ofsted report judged the School to be “good overall with outstanding features”.

3.14

It is understood that the County Council is seeking to include the refurbishment/rebuilding of the Mill Chase Community Technology College within the third phase of its bid for Building Schools for the Future funding. It is anticipated that the new facilities would be available in 14

Number on school roll, January 2008, GVA baseline report 22


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

the initial phase of the Eco-Town’s implementation. The Head and Governors have a strong vision for independent personalised learning by pupils to equip them for future changes and to extend the opportunities for the community/families to return to education at the School. 3.15

Related to this, one longstanding issue has been the town’s poor provision for 14-19 further education and adult education. With respect to 14-19 further education, the nearest further education (FE) college is Farnborough College of Technology, 25 km north east of the town, while the nearest sixth form colleges are in Alton (around 14km away) and Farnham (13km away). All of these colleges provide a full A-Level offer. In addition, Farnborough College of Technology offers a full range of vocational courses across 25 curriculum areas, while Alton College and Farnham are also developing a strong vocational offer. The most comprehensive range of adult education provision is provided at Farnborough College of Technology, while Alton College also has an adult educational offer. It was reported through our consultations that until last year, Farnborough College of Technology had been running a Learn Direct service at the Jobcentre Plus offices in Whitehill Bordon, but poor levels of demand forced the college to withdraw the service. Retail and recreational offer

3.16

The retail offer at Whitehill Bordon is concentrated along the main high street on the A325 and in the Forest Shopping Centre in the south east of the town. Supported by SEEDA, there are plans to improve the integration between the shopping centre and the adjacent Forest Community Centre. The retail offer is summarised in Table 3-1 below. With two ‘lowmarket’ supermarkets and one ‘mid-market’ supermarket in the town, our consultees suggested that many residents, and particularly those living in the town’s hinterland, shop at Liphook, Farnham and Guildford. This pattern is further supported by the limited comparison retail offer in the town, especially when compared to Guildford.

3.17

Consultees also voiced concerns regarding the past history of Forest Shopping Centre. When the Centre was built, retailers such as Clarks and Boots relocated to the Forest Centre from High Street premises. However, due to the reportedly low levels of footfall achieved by the Forest Centre, these stores eventually left the town altogether. Table 3-1 The Whitehill Bordon retail offer Retail type

Description of offer

Convenience goods

Somerfield and Lidl supermarkets in the Forest Shopping centre and Tesco Superstore on the high street are the main retail outlets, with other small convenience outlets on the high street

Comparison goods

The comparison shopping offer, particularly with regard to clothing, was reported by consultees as being of poor range and quality with no ‘high street’ names present in the town

DIY – non bulk

Wilkinsonplus, located in the Forest Shopping Centre, provides a wide range of durable household goods, furniture, electrical, gardening and pet related products

Source: SQW Consulting

3.18

There is a limited evening economy in Whitehill Bordon. While there are a range of pubs and restaurants in close proximity to the town (e.g. the Country Market in Kingsley), there is currently only a handful of restaurants and cafés in the town itself. As a result, many

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

residents living in and around the town travel to nearby towns such as Alton, Liphook, Guildford and Farnham for evening recreational activity. 3.19

With respect to community recreational facilities, the GVA Grimley baseline report and Town Health Check provide a comprehensive overview of facilities. The town has a gym and swimming pool provided at Mill Chase Community Technology College, although there is no commercial leisure centre/gym provision.

3.20

In addition to the physical recreational assets in the town, Whitehill Bordon also has natural assets. The town is set in the Woolmer Forest, an area of heathland designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and widely recognised as an ecologically important area for wildlife. There are numerous walks (such as the well known Deadwater Valley walk) leading from the main town into and around the forest and heathland. Whitehill Bordon as a place to live: key messages •

Whitehill Bordon is a town that is ‘out of sync’ statistically with East Hampshire, as illustrated by: 

its younger population and significantly lower proportion of retirement age residents



its relatively high levels of affordable housing



its static population forecast

the town is home to a significant number of permanent military personnel and trainees: over 4,000 trainees stay in the town over the course of a year, around 1,200 at any one time

while the secondary school attainment level is improving, the trend for many parents to send their children to schools outside the town is unlikely to change in the short to medium term: perceptions take time to change

the lack of further education and adult education provision in the town is a longstanding issue. There is good sixth form and adult education provision in surrounding towns, but this is some distance away

there is a limited bus service serving the town, particularly with respect to access to nearby towns such as Liphook, Alton and Petersfield

while located in an attractive woodland setting, the retail and recreational offer in Whitehill Bordon is limited. This is one reason why residents, particularly those living in the hinterland of the town, travel to Alton, Liphook, Guildford and Farnham for convenience and comparison shopping

Whitehill Bordon as a place to work Employment 3.21

Chapter 2 has already provided an overview of commuting patterns from Whitehill Bordon. This section focuses on employment within the town, which is concentrated in a number of areas: •

Bordon Garrison which employs military personnel and a range of civilian and contracted staff (this is discussed in greater detail below) 24


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

the Woolmer Industrial Estate (10.2 hectares), which is located in close proximity to the High Street and provides B1 (business), B2 (general industry) and B8 (storage and distribution) accommodation

the Bordon Trading Estate (4.2 hectares), which is located in the north west of the town and also provides accommodation for B1 (business), B2 (general industry) and B8 (storage or distribution) businesses

Highview Business Centre (0.9 hectares), which is located across the road from the Woolmer Industrial Estate and provides accommodation for B1a (office) businesses.

3.22

Other employment is located within the Forest Shopping Centre, along the High Street, the Community Hospital, and in the town’s primary schools and secondary school. There are also peripheral employment concentrations in agricultural activities and farm shops, particularly the County Market in Kingsley.

3.23

Census data show that the workforce population of Whitehill Bordon (i.e. the people with workplaces in Whitehill Bordon) town15 stood at 6,039 in 2001. Combining the Census data with information regarding employment at the Garrison, this figure can be broken down as follows: •

774 are classified as self employed

863 are classified as living in communal defence establishments which represent the MoD trainees captured by the Census

around 4,402 are classified as other workers which will include approximately 630 permanent military staff based at the Garrison.

3.24

On the basis of these figures, the 2001 Census suggests that if the MoD staff and trainees are discounted, ‘other’ employment totals about 4,540. This generally accords with estimates derived from the Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) in 2005 (see Table 3-2). While not as robust as the Census, particularly at small spatial levels, ABI data provides a more up to date picture of employment in the town. Excluding armed forces personnel, in 2007 the main employment sectors were public administration, education & health (33%), distribution, retail, hotels and catering (23%), business services & finance (19%) and manufacturing (13%).

3.25

While caution is needed in drawing conclusions from ABI data, they indicate that employment levels may have fallen between 2005 and 2007: in 2007 there appeared to be 600 fewer jobs than at the time of the 2001 Census. This reduction in employment has been experienced in all four of the town’s largest sectors of employment, and it needs to be seen within a national and regional context of economic and employment growth. Whitehill Bordon saw a decline of 400 jobs in business and financial services, one of the UK’s main growth sectors before the current economic recession.

15 Whitehill Bordon town includes the local authority wards of Whitehill Deadwater, Whitehill Chase, Whitehill Pinewood, Whitehill Hogmoor and Whitehill Walldown

25


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council Table 3-2 Employee jobs, Annual Business Inquiry, 2005 to 2007, Whitehill/Bordon. Note: excludes armed forces personnel, self-employed Industry sector

ABI 2005

ABI 2006

ABI 2007 (provisional)

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Energy & water

0

0

0

0

0

0

Manufacturing

600

13%

500

13%

500

13%

Construction

200

4%

200

5%

200

5%

Distribution, retail, hotels & catering

1,000

22%

900

23%

900

23%

Transport & communications

<100

n/a

<100

n/a

<100

n/a

Business services & finance

1,145*

25%

645*

17%

745*

19%

Public administration, education & health

1,400

30%

1,300

34%

1,300

33%

300

6%

300

8%

300

8%

4,645

100%

3,845

100%

3,945

100%

Agriculture & quarrying

Other services Total **

Source: ABI Nomis, adapted from GVA Grimley baseline report *these figures have all been reduce to account for a large industrial cleaning company that has its Head Quarters in Whitehill Hogmoor. While the company employees at least 4,475 people, GVA Grimley’s baseline report illustrated that only around 20 employees worked in the town. For this reason we have reduced these figures by 4,455 ** no agriculture figures available below district level; all figures rounded to nearest 100

3.26

Whilst the figures in the table above exclude armed forces personnel, they do not exclude the civilian staff employed in Garrison related employment or contractors that supply services to the Garrison. As GVA Grimley observes in its baseline report, in addition to MoD personnel, the Garrison provides employment for 132 civilian staff, 35016 people working for contractor Vosper Thorneycroft on base, 40 employees at Pride property maintenance company, and 170 at Aramark, contract caterers. This ‘linked’ employment amounts to over 620 jobs.

3.27

Table 3-3 provides a breakdown of all direct employment supported by the Garrison. In total, the Garrison directly supports around 2,500 jobs. Without these, the ‘core’ employment within Whitehill/Bordon drops to around 3,900 based on the 2001 Census figures, or approximately 3,300 based on the 2007 ABI figures. Table 3-3 Total direct employment supported by the Garrison Description

No. of jobs

Permanent military personnel

630

Employed military trainees

1,200

Civilian staff employed by the Garrison

132

Contracted staff

560

16

This figure has been amended to account for more recent information obtained from Vosper Thorneycroft as part of this study. This figure is made up of 200 trainers, 30 on-site training accreditation personnel and 120 support and administration staff 26


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council Description

No. of jobs

Total

2,522

Source: SQW adapted from GVA Grimley baseline report

Whitehill Bordon as a place to work: key messages 17

Census data show that the workforce population of Whitehill Bordon town 2001

stood at 6,039 in

Whitehill Bordon has several employment locations in the town: Bordon Garrison, the town’s two industrial estates, Highview Business Centre and Forest Shopping Centre, as well as the town’s primary schools and secondary school

excluding armed forces personnel, in 2007 the main employment sectors were public administration, education & health (33%), distribution, hotels and catering (23%), business services & finance (19%), and manufacturing (13%)

while small area ABI data must be treated with caution, the data indicate that the stock of employment has fallen in Whitehill Bordon in recent years. Given overall national economic growth experienced over this period, this is clearly concerning for the town

when all direct employment associated with the Garrison is stripped out of the statistics, employment within Whitehill/Bordon drops to around 3,900 based on the 2001 Census figures, or approximately 3,300 based on the 2007 ABI figures.

Whitehill Bordon as a place to do business Businesses 3.28

VAT registration/deregistration data for 2007 show that the stock of businesses in East Hampshire was 5,540, around 11% of the VAT registered stock for the county. Trend data show modest growth in the business stock between 2005 and 2007 for East Hampshire (growth of 165 registered businesses, or 3%), although this is higher than the growth in the business stock for the county as a whole (growth of 2,255, or 1%).

3.29

VAT registration/deregistration data for 2007 also show East Hampshire has a higher rate of businesses per capita (50 per 1,000 population) than Hampshire (38 per 1,000 population). This indicates that – like many predominantly rural districts – East Hampshire is an overwhelmingly “small firm” economy. But what of Whitehill Bordon? VAT registration data are not available at smaller spatial scales but we can derive some proxy measures from the Census. The incidence of homeworking has some relationship to the incidence of small and micro businesses. Data from Census 2001 data suggest the following proportions of resident workers working from home: •

9.7% in Hampshire

17 Whitehill Bordon town includes the local authority wards of Whitehill Deadwater, Whitehill Chase, Whitehill Pinewood, Whitehill Hogmoor and Whitehill Walldown

27


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

11.7% in East Hampshire

7.6% in Whitehill Bordon.

3.30

The implication, then, is that the structure of Whitehill Bordon’s local economy is different from that of East Hampshire with – in all probability – a higher incidence of larger employers.

3.31

Table 3-4 provides an overview of the businesses and other organisations in Whitehill Bordon employing over 50 staff. A number of observations follow: •

There are two pharmaceutical companies located in the town: Sandoz Ltd, an international pharmaceutical research and distribution company, and Dabur Oncology plc. Dabur Oncology has recently been taken over by a German company and has subsequently reduced local employment to 38 staff members. The company has been located (albeit under a different name) on the outskirts of the town for many years. It specialises in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products for hospitals and other outlets across the UK.

There are a number of specialised manufacturing and electrical companies operating from sites on the Woolmer Trading Estate: 

Kea-flex Mouldings Ltd which produces precision rubber components for the pharmaceutical, defence, food processing and aerospace industries. Our understanding is that this firm does, on occasion, also supply products to Bordon Garrison



Celab Ltd which provides power supply solutions to avionics, aerospace, telecom and cable TV markets. Celab Ltd also specialises in energy conservation services



G & B Electronic Designs Ltd which provides specialist electronic product design, development and manufacturing services.

Table 3-4 Employers with over 50 employees in Whitehill Bordon* Company name

Business Type

Private sector employers Tesco Stores Plc

Supermarket

Radio Detection

Radio

Somerfield Stores Plc

Food Retailer

Armour Automotive

Motor parts

Ellack Cleaning Contractors Ltd

Contract Cleaning, Office & Builders Cleaning

Keelan Westall Insurances Plc

Commercial Property Insurance Brokers

Silex Ltd

Silicones

G & B Electronic Designs Ltd

Design & Assembly

The Packaging Factory

Design & Development of Packaging & Cosmetics

28


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council Company name

Business Type

Country Market

Garden Centre

Dabur Oncology Plc

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Sandoz Ltd

Generic Pharmaceutical Company

Celab Ltd

Power supplies

Kea-flex Mouldings Ltd

Rubber Products

Public sector employers 24 / 7 Care Agency

Care Agency

Mill Chase Community Technology College

Education provider

Chase Community Hospital

Health Care

The Meadow Special School

Education provider

Source: East Hampshire District Council * This table is based upon records held by East Hampshire District Council and does not include Vosper Thorneycroft. This organisation is discussed below

3.32

In addition to the employers listed above, Vosper Thorneycroft, which employs around 350 people locally, is also important. Technical training, which amounts to about 90% of SEME’s activity, is provided under contract by Vosper Thorneycroft. SEME’s role is to provide the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) with trained electromechanical engineers. Levels 1, 2, 3 and Artificer training of Electro/Mechanical trades is conducted at SEME. Over 150 different courses are provided by the School. We understand that Vosper Thorneycroft also provides training to a small number of commercial businesses, although this is largely delivered away from the garrison site.

3.33

Overall, therefore, whilst the employment base in Whitehill Bordon is relatively modest compared to Alton and Petersfield, the town does have a handful of high value added, specialised business activities ranging from pharmaceuticals, precision rubber manufacture, electrical services and satellite communications.

3.34

Evidence from previous research and from our consultations with stakeholders however suggest that that there are a number of issues constraining both business growth and new business investment: •

Low levels of awareness about investment opportunities: A survey of commercial development companies by the district’s Economic Development Officer18, found that 25% of respondents were aware of investment opportunities in Whitehill Bordon, compared to 33% in Alton and 41% in Petersfield. Separately, many of the stakeholders that we interviewed as part of this study expressed concern regarding the awareness and identity of Whitehill Bordon as a potential business location.

Limited large grow-on premises: Whilst the Woolmer Trading Estate is host to a number of medium sized business operations, evidence from our consultations

18

Awareness of Investment Opportunities in East Hampshire, Economic Development Office, East Hampshire District Council 2007 29


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

pointed towards a limited number of good quality premises for companies seeking to expand. •

Access to the A3 and A31: Despite the town’s location between the A3 and A31, consultees noted that businesses tended to ‘pass Whitehill Bordon by’ when looking where to locate along these two ‘A’ roads. With towns such as Alton, Petersfield and Farnham (in Surrey) located on, rather than near, these key access routes, these towns were considered to be more attractive business locations.

No real cluster of business activity when the Garrison goes.

Local skills base: While there is a good pool of skilled labour in the wider hinterland of Whitehill Bordon, the skills profile of the town’s population is comparatively weak. Linked to this, the town itself has no provision for further education.

Whitehill Bordon as a place to work: key messages •

located on the A325 linking the A31 and the A3 (the two main north-south link roads east of the M3), Whitehill Bordon should be an attractive location for business

whilst the employment base in Whitehill Bordon is modest compared to East Hampshire’s other main towns (Alton and Petersfield), the town does have a handful of high value added, specialised business activities (pharmaceuticals, precision rubber manufacture, electrical services and satellite communications)

Vosper Thorneycroft provides technical training under contract to SEME

business growth and new business investment appear to be constrained by the poor image of the town, limited supply of larger premises, limited real “clustering” in relation to established firms, and the poor local skills profile

30


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

4: Adding robustness to the strategy: Development scenarios for Whitehill Bordon

Introduction 4.1

As set out in Chapter 1, our brief is essentially to start to define new economic roles for Whitehill Bordon and, in the light of these, to identify the actions that might be needed to effect those roles. In this chapter and the two that follow, informed by the contextual underpinnings of Chapters 2 and 3, we start to develop those roles and actions.

4.2

However, as the focus for an economic strategy and action plan, the context for Whitehill Bordon’s economic future is really quite complicated. There are currently two major uncertainties. Both of these could impact materially on the substance of the strategy and the deliverability of any action plan. These uncertainties relate to:

4.3

the timing and phasing of the Garrison’s closure

the extent to which Whitehill Bordon’s eco-town status brings with it sustained and substantive public sector resourcing.

In the paragraphs that follow we discuss these uncertainties in turn before presenting three scenarios relating to the context for the town’s economic future over the next decade or so. These scenarios are not “forecasts” or “visions” and they have no status – other than asking a series of hard questions: if the emerging strategy can stand up to them, then local partners ought to have more confidence in its currency and robustness. Hence the scenarios are important, but only in terms of testing the plausibility of the potential economic roles for Whitehill Bordon that are discussed in Chapter 5 and the deliverability of actions which are set out in Chapter 6.

Mapping out the uncertainties The timing and phasing of the Garrison’s closure 4.4

Our original understanding was that the phased departure of the Garrison would take place between 2011 and 2016. However, there seems to be a growing consensus that the phased departure may not begin until 2013. Moreover, our original understanding was that training at the Garrison would cease in 2011, but more recent consultations have suggested that training provision may well continue up until 2015.

4.5

In addition to the uncertainty surrounding the timing of the Garrison’s closure, it is also unclear how the relocation will be phased. We understand that some of the smaller sites, including Quebec Barracks, are likely to be vacated next year, while Louisburg and Prince Phillip Barracks will be vacated in 2014/15. However, none of these dates is set in stone. In particular, it is not clear exactly when particular buildings or areas will be vacated, or, just as critically, whether they will be accessible for alternative uses during the transition period. 31


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

This is important as the re-use of these buildings could provide partners with a vital asset for boosting economic activity in the town during the relocation transition period and beyond. The resources to deliver eco-towns 4.6

On 16th July 2009, Housing Minister John Healey published the Planning Policy Statement (PPS): eco-towns, supplement to PPS1 (Delivering Sustainable Development). The PPS for eco-towns includes the locations that have been assessed as having the potential for an ecotown, one of which was Whitehill Bordon. This announcement was good news for Whitehill Bordon and for all those with an interest in its development.

4.7

However, there remains a good deal of uncertainty regarding the level and type of resources that will be provided by Government to support and facilitate the delivery of eco-towns. Recent press releases from Communities and Local Government (CLG) indicate that the four selected towns will be able to bid for share of £60 million for early exhibition and demonstration projects. While not insignificant, these are small sums in development terms. More important, however, there has been no commitment at all to subsequent funding. Additionally, while there will be a managed delivery mechanism led by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) which should provide a valuable catalyst to the redevelopment process, there is currently uncertainty surrounding the shape and form that any delivery vehicle will take.

4.8

Overall then, whilst eco-town status is certainly important for Whitehill Bordon, there are still many uncertainties with regard to delivery routes. In thinking through the town’s economic strategy, the surrounding risks need to be considered carefully.

Three scenarios for the next decade 4.9

Reflecting both dimensions of uncertainty, the pages that follow set out three scenarios in relation to the medium term development process in Whitehill Bordon. All three are extreme, but they are important in framing and testing the economic strategy: to be of value, it needs to carry conviction in the context of all three possible scenarios. Scenario 1: The development of the eco-town is substantively and sustainably resourced by the public sector over the medium term, and the Garrison closes in the middle part of the next decade…

4.10

Key assumptions linked to this scenario include: •

the full engagement and support of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which would bring with it both resources to enable development and political leverage

a more purposeful economic development strategy that can maximise the potential of the town, and a delivery mechanism to help implement it

a clear “brand” which brings with it the possibility of a clear sectoral employment focus.

32


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Scenario 1: The development of the eco-town is substantively and sustainably resourced by the public sector over the medium term, and the Garrison closes in the middle part of the next decade… Whitehill Bordon as a place to live •

HCA’s commitment to delivering the eco-town could lead to Whitehill Bordon becoming a prime housing development location. With a plan to deliver up to 5,500 new homes over 2-3 decades, the town would be expected to double in size (to around 27,000).

With Government commitment to the eco-town scheme, there could be scope to consider large infrastructural improvement to public transport, including a ‘fast bus’ scheme improving connections between the town and Blackwater Valley and, possible, the reinstatement of the railway connecting a train or tram service to Bentley.

Education provision could be extended, possibly with sixth form provision in association with the Mill Chase Community Technology College (complementing the Alton College offer). The increased population would also increase the viability of adult education provision in the town. Improvements in public transport would improve accessibility to Alton College and Farnborough College of Technology.

The eco-town masterplan allows for a new town centre and has given consideration to a new leisure centre. This improved High Street design, coupled with significant population growth, could lead to a substantial improvement in the retail offer.

Whitehill Bordon as a place to work •

Commuting flows to Blackwater Valley may increase in absolute terms as the population increases, transport connectivity improves and business linkages are established. However, if the town becomes an established business location, in-commuting should increase and more residents should be able to work locally (although not all will choose to do so).

Whitehill Bordon as a place to do business •

Managed repurposing of ex-MoD buildings and sheds for commercial use, coupled with a proactive businesses investment strategy, could lead to many new businesses locating in the town. An improved labour and skills supply resulting from the increased population would make Whitehill Bordon a more attractive location for businesses. This, coupled with improved transport infrastructure and the offer of relatively low cost space, would provide a valuable stimulus to efforts to attract businesses.

Over time, as the town becomes established as a location for business, there would be the potential for the intensification of employment through the attraction of higher value added business activity.

Government’s commitment to deliver on eco-towns, together with an increased profile, could help Whitehill Bordon become the ‘northern gateway’ into the new South Downs National Park. If achieved, this could attract businesses associated with tourism into the town.

33


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Scenario 2: The development of the eco-town proceeds with heavily constrained public sector investment, and the Garrison closes in the middle part of the next decade… 4.11

Scenario 2 is underpinned by the assumption that public sector resourcing for the eco-town venture might be limited. Given the state of public finances, this assumption might not be entirely fictional and the consequence might be a slower pace of development; as indicated in the South East Plan (Policy CC7), “where new development creates a need for additional infrastructure, a programme of delivery should be agreed before development begins”. As with the other scenarios, it is important to understand the potential implications with regard to the development process. Scenario 2: The development of the eco-town proceeds with heavily constrained public sector investment, and the Garrison closes in the middle part of the next decade…… Whitehill Bordon as a place to live •

With the Garrison relocated and eco-town moving forward, the area would be seen by developers as a more viable location for housing development. To enable new housing development to begin, a programme of delivery for any additional infrastructure will need to be agreed. Over time, the better situated sites at the Garrison will be developed for housing, but only once all other designated areas have been developed, i.e. post 2020.

Annington Homes will sell off the housing stock and or land currently used as MoD accommodation on the open market, providing a more stable (as compared to the military personnel) population base in the town, and improving the level of ‘affordable’ housing stock. However, in the absence of resources to upgrade the housing, the result may be typical low grade housing estate, which can often be associated with cumulative socio-economic decline.

Improvements in public transport would take longer to achieve

Given the recent improvements in Mill Chase Community Technology College’s league table performance, along with its positive relationship with Alton College, the perceptions of local education should continue to improve, albeit incrementally.

Implementation of the new town centre would be delayed. In the transition period leading up to, and immediately after, the relocation of the Garrison, retail businesses may well suffer from the loss of spend from military dependants and trainees. Whilst any new populations from housing growth would, over time, make up this loss, this may not stimulate an improvement in the retail offer.

Whitehill Bordon as a place to work •

A lack of overall vibrancy will make it more difficult to attract go-ahead firms.

Unless an anchor contract can be secured by Vosper Thorneycroft and/or another sustainable commercial business model is developed, the company would leave the area. This would result in engineer tutors currently working in the town seeking employment elsewhere.

Given the town’s limited employment base, particularly when employment directly associated with the Garrison is stripped out, it is likely that out-commuting trends will continue and may even increase

Whitehill Bordon as a place to do business •

The highest quality and highest specification MoD sheds would most likely be rented to distribution and manufacturing businesses on short term leases at relatively low cost (compared to other locations north east of the A3 and A31). A proportion of these businesses may be associated with Blackwater Valley specialisms in defence, aerospace and other high

34


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council value engineering, but this association would be ad hoc •

Over time, the former Garrison site will develop in a similar fashion to other former airfield sites.

Prospects for developing economic relations with Blackwater Valley would be limited by the pace of change in public transport (bus or train).

Scenario 3: Whitehill Bordon eco-town retains a strong military presence over the next decade… 4.12

Current expectations are that the Garrison will relocate from 2013. However, further slippage is possible and this in turn will affect the town’s development prospects over the next decade. Indeed, with the town bordering Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), the red line for development is already constrained. If the MoD retains a strong presence in the town over the next decade, the deliverability of the transformational change envisaged within the eco-town plans, would be severely limited. Scenario 3: Whitehill Bordon eco-town retains a strong military presence over the next decade… Whitehill Bordon as a place to live •

The development of new housing is likely to be limited even after the housing market and wider economy recovers. Small scale developments may occur around the town with a focus on relatively low cost housing (as compared to elsewhere), as well as some eco-retrofitting of the current housing stock (supported by demonstration eco-town funding).

In this context, the expectation is that the population growth will match the forecasts presented in Chapter 3, i.e. no growth up to 2015, and potentially beyond

In the absence of significant private sector housing investment, it is unlikely that public transport provision will improve. Strong lobbying could potentially improve the current bus service (particularly in light of the recent reduction in service from Liphook), but the funds required to provide a tram or rail service on the old railway line to Bentley are unlikely to be secured

Education provision would be likely to develop as per Scenario 2.

With no new substantial uplift in the population, the current retail and recreation offer in the town is unlikely to change, although ongoing landscaping work will improve the level of integration between the Forest Shopping Centre and Forest Community Centre.

Whitehill Bordon as a place to work •

Concentrations of employment in the town will continue to focus on the Garrison, the two trading estates, the Forest Shopping Centre, the High Street and town’s schools. As a result, there is unlikely to be any notable shift in the area’s sectoral composition, i.e. employment will continue to be dominated by the Garrison, along with the following sectors: 

public administration, education & health



distribution, retail, hotels and catering



business services & finance



manufacturing.

Given past trends in employment in Whitehill Bordon, in the absence of intervention, there is a risk that the stock of employment will continue to decline, even when there is an economic

35


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council upturn. Whitehill Bordon as a place to do business â&#x20AC;˘

As an accessible, reasonable quality and well regarded industrial estate, there is scope for growth on the Woolmer Trading Estate. Indeed, in a recent Employment Land Review for East 19 Hampshire District Council a site of 2.2 hectares south of the existing estate was identified for B1, B2 or B8 development.

â&#x20AC;˘

The Employment Land Review also comments on the slow level of take up at the Highview Business Centre. Without a notable increase in the population (which could stimulate an increase in business services) and only modest levels of increased industrial investment (which could increases demand for supporting finance and administration office space), this low level of take-up is expected to continue.

19

East Hampshire District Council, Assessment of Employment Needs and Floorspace Requirements, Roger Tym & Partners, May 2008 36


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

5: Potential roles for Whitehill Bordon

Introduction 5.1

In economic development terms, Whitehill Bordon needs to look to the future in a manner that is realistic, but also positive and purposive. The town – by virtue of its existing economic make-up and its location (in a sub-regional context) – has some real assets and opportunities for economic growth; these need to be nurtured positively. Moreover, proposals in relation to housing growth (which could double the size the current population) will themselves provide a fillip to employment and economic growth.

Processes of employment growth 5.2

5.3

In a redevelopment context, it is useful to distinguish between two processes of employment growth: •

endogenous (i.e. “from within”) employment refers to the jobs that are generated through the process of providing local services to the resident population: e.g. convenience retail, primary healthcare, and education services and facilities

exogenous (i.e. external) employment refers to the jobs that are created through the production of goods and services that are externally traded. In other words, these jobs are not simply dependent on the market provided by the local population. Exogenous jobs are especially important in relation to long term wealth creation and the robustness of the local economy.

In practice, there is some cross-over between these two types of employment. However the underlying distinction remains important. The character of – and consequent demands in terms of provision for – endogenous employment is very much a focus of the masterplanning process (given its intrinsic relationship to local demographics). Hence we make no further comment here other than to provide the numbers estimated by EDAW as part of the masterplanning process (see Table 5-1). Table 5-1 Endogenous employment potential in Whitehill Bordon Employment type

Total jobs

Town centre retail

1,400

Public sector

550

Total

1,950

Source: EDAW

5.4

The focus of the economic development strategy needs instead to be on the potential scope for – and character of – exogenous economic activity. This is seriously important in establishing a robust economic foundation for the town’s future. The economic development strategy needs – in short – to position Whitehill Bordon as a place in which people choose to work as well as live. 37


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Defining Roles to effect exogenous economic growth 5.5

So how might Whitehill Bordon’s future be steered in terms of its exogenous economic base? We have identified four potential roles as follows: •

Role 1: Linking Whitehill Bordon into the aerospace/high value engineering cluster within the Blackwater Valley

Role 2: Exemplar for sustainable development

Role 3: Whitehill Bordon as a tourism hub

Role 4: A hub for post-16 education and training

Role 1: Linking Whitehill Bordon into the aerospace/high value engineering cluster within the Blackwater Valley Context for the role 5.6

In response to, and as a result of, the credit crunch and economic downturn, government’s implicit enthusiasm for the financial and business services sector has diminished. Coincidentally, government has recently re-invigorated previous attempts to develop a national Manufacturing Strategy20. A summary of government’s emerging thinking is provided in Annex B, but a key commitment – and one that is potentially significant in a Whitehill Bordon context – is to develop a positive national response to the opportunities presented by a number of key sectors/initiatives, notably: •

low carbon industrial strategy

ultra low carbon vehicles

digital Britain

life sciences and pharmaceuticals

advanced manufacturing, where specific mention is made of: 

aerospace – engine and wing design for the low carbon age



composite materials – for application in many industries



industrial biotechnology sector – with the chemical industry shifting from oil to renewable and biological substances



plastic electronics.

20

Manufacturing: New Challenges, New Opportunities September 2008, the Department for Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS); and New Industry New Jobs April 2009, HM Treasury 38


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

The implications for Whitehill Bordon 5.7

Whitehill Bordon’s existing economic resonance with Blackwater Valley was discussed in Chapter 2. In the context of government’s renewed enthusiasm for the manufacturing sector, this could present opportunities. Already Whitehill Bordon supplies Blackwater Valley with labour; but looking ahead, is there scope for a more broadly-based complementarity, and a synergistic role for the expanded town?

5.8

Blackwater Valley is described as a “nucleus for high tech research and a cluster of aerospace and high tech industries”21 and the main towns within it have distinctive economic specialisms:

5.9

Aldershot: military and defence

Farnborough: aviation and aerospace

Fleet and Camberley: high technology.

However, a report completed in 2003 suggested that their growth was constrained by: •

a lack of training facilities

a lack of employment sites, particularly sites appropriate to the needs of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

shortages of labour22.

5.10

More recent research, albeit focused on North Hampshire, has uncovered similar issues23. In the context of the recent economic downturn, there is clearly a question as to whether these challenges remain. But over the medium-long term, the expectation must be that similar pressures will re-emerge.

5.11

Potentially, the relocation of Bordon Garrison could provide the scope to respond to many of the constraints to growth identified with regard to the Blackwater Valley clusters. Hence the potential for a synergistic growth process – in which a clear economic role for Whitehill Bordon is defined in relation to the Blackwater Valley – is a real one. Following this argument through, the relocation of the Garrison over a period which might begin four years hence could be extremely timely. Moreover the creative re-use of the garrison site could result in: •

affordable, managed office space for start-up and newly formed Blackwater Valley enterprises, possibly in the form of an enterprise centre

small workshop units for Blackwater Valley enterprises, possibly managed by the enterprise centre

larger premises for light industrial activity, possibly partitioned to cater for multiple occupancy by medium sized businesses and potentially including the provision of a

21

Blackwater Valley Sub-Regional Study, WS Atkins and Ancer Spa, 2003 Blackwater Valley Sub-Regional Study, WS Atkins and Ancer Spa, 2003 23 See: Informing our Future, Hampshire Economic Partnership, 2007 22

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

flagship site for a high profile inward investor (which will, otherwise, need to be identified elsewhere as an early priority) •

technical training facilities with training potentially delivered by Vosper Thorneycroft, possibly in partnership with Farnborough College of Technology.

Role 2: Exemplar for sustainable development Context for the role 5.12

As discussed above, Government is committed to the development of a low carbon industrial strategy. A recent industry analysis from the then-Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) (2009)24 updated the definition of eco-industries to ‘low carbon and environmental goods and services’ (LCEGS). A summary analysis of this sector and its prospects in the UK is provided in Annex B, but with respect to the future development of Whitehill Bordon, the following points should be noted: •

the sector is expected to see significant growth over the next 5 years, with forecast growth of 45% (or £107 billion to £155 billion) by 2015, generating 390,000 additional jobs

almost 6,650 LCEGS firms are based in the South East. This includes 6,650 emerging low carbon firms, 1,850 renewable energy firms, and 1,400 environmental firms. In total these firms currently provide 113,000 jobs, equating to 13.4% of the total UK LCEGS employment.

The implications for Whitehill Bordon 5.13

5.14

The masterplan for Whitehill Bordon notes the potential for employment opportunities from sustainable energy, sustainable urban drainage and green transport. However, a further substantial employment opportunity may derive from products and services to retrofit the existing housing stock. If public funds can be acquired to support a major retrofit programme in Whitehill Bordon (with an associated skills academy), then there could be the basis of a genuinely credible marketing pitch to attract low carbon manufacturing firms. However, the phasing of the MoD property releases would be crucial: suitable sites would need to accommodate low carbon manufacturing businesses such that they might: •

play a role in retrofitting the existing housing stock

contribute to the development of the new homes specified for the eco-town, as well as the sustainable energy, sustainable urban drainage and green transport infrastructure mentioned above.

Evidence regarding sub-regional and local concentrations of LCEGS business is not widely available. However, less than five miles from Bordon is the Forestry Commission’s Alice Holt Research Station. This provides research and practical solutions relating to sustainable

24

BERR (2009). ‘Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services: an industry analysis’, Innovas 40


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

forestry, land use, and wood/biomass energy. Potentially therefore there is a link to be made between the research station and some of the specialist businesses.

Role 3: Whitehill Bordon as a tourism hub Context for the role 5.15

Tourism provides an important source of income and employment to both East Hampshire and the wider county (see Annex B for a summary of recent tourism trends). However, there is currently minimal tourism activity in Whitehill Bordon. The town does not have a hotel, although one 18 bedroom hotel, Headley Park Hotel, is located just a mile or so off the A325. In contrast to the dearth of tourism infrastructure in Whitehill Bordon, there are a number of highly rated (4* and 5*) guest houses and B&Bs in the town’s hinterland. In part, this reflects the quality of the woodland and countryside surrounding the town. The implications for Whitehill Bordon

5.16

In 2011 the South Downs National Park will be formally recognised. Situated on the edge of the northern ridge of the National Park, Whitehill Bordon will be in close proximity to both of the National Park’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, East Hampshire and the South Downs. This presents an opportunity for the town to define a role as a ‘northern gateway’ to the National Park. This role could involve a National Park visitor centre including: •

information about the National Park – what to see and do, etc.

information regarding its environmental importance, including information on wildlife, habitats and flora and fauna

a showcase for the work undertaken at Alice Holt

possible development of wildlife attractions, such as live camera feeds into the nests of endangered birds (i.e. combining technology and wildlife to provide visitors with a ‘window’ into the National Park, without having to actually visit it)

supporting tourism facilities such as restaurants and retail

facilities for local school trips/educational research.

5.17

If this role was established successfully, the corollary could be investment in B&B and Guest House accommodation, and, potentially, an improved local retail and restaurant offer.

5.18

A recent East Hampshire Hotel Sector Study25 found that Whitehill Bordon is not, in its current form, seen as a viable location for high grade hotel investment. However, there is evidence of demand for a 3 star hotel or possibly the expansion of Headley Park Hotel. Indeed, it stated that “there is some evidence that demand for hotel accommodation from Bordon and Whitehill is currently being displaced to hotels in Alton and Petersfield”. It also stated that any hotel developed would “need to have a good food offer, grounds, and possibly 25 East Hampshire Hotel Sector Study, An Assessment of Market Performance and Development Potential, Tourism Solutions and ACK Tourism, April 2005

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

leisure facilities to attract leisure break and wedding business at weekends”. The report went on to say that the Viking Park site south of the Woolmer Trading Estate would provide a suitable location for such a hotel. However, when the Garrison relocates it will offer the opportunity to redevelop the Officers’ Mess building as a quality hotel and this may be a more viable approach. 5.19

A further potential opportunity for Whitehill Bordon could involve the development of a sizeable leisure/tourism facility with on-site accommodation, etc. Given Whitehill Bordon’s mature woodland setting, this would offer one option for ensuring that the town uses this natural asset. Such a facility could provide a substantial number of jobs. Illustratively, for one broadly analogous operator, each UK site employs around 1,500 staff26, many of whom are from surrounding communities. In this case, with each site requiring around 400 acres, this land take could, in theory, be accommodated within the 600 acres that will be vacated by the Garrison. However, such a facility would need to be situated in woodland which would take too long to mature at the old Garrison site and could be subject to criticism from the local community if placed on current forest land. This latter point is emphasised by the community objections and subsequent failure of a planning application in 2007 to develop 30/40 acres of woodland at Alice Holt into a campsite, which would have involved permanent tent structures as accommodation.

Role 4: A hub for post-16 education and training Context for the role 5.20

The Government’s drive to improve skills levels in both the current and future workforce is strong and purposeful (see Annex B for a summary of headline Government strategy and policy). Indeed, improving skills levels is seen as being critical in preparing the UK to take advantage of the opportunities that will emerge once the economic downturn comes to an end. The implications for Whitehill Bordon

5.21

The current level of educational infrastructure and supporting transport services in Whitehill Bordon has already been discussed in detail in Chapter 3 and reference has also been made to the presence of Vosper Thorneycroft.

5.22

Notwithstanding planned population growth and limited current provision, any College investment in Whitehill Bordon would need to operate at a certain scale to make it financially viable. In terms of the scale of the operation, it is noteworthy that Farnborough College of Technology employs 750 staff (450 FTEs), has a turnover of £22m and delivers courses across 25 broad curriculum areas to 9,500 students. Clearly, the reality for Whitehill Bordon is that even with the population growth that would come from delivering the homes planned for the eco-town, this would still be insufficient on its own to justify investment from a College similar in size and course offer to Farnborough College of Technology.

5.23

More grounded are the suggestions in the early masterplanning process for a Skills Centre, as well as, and/or including, further education for 16-19 year olds at Mill Chase Community 26

Center Parcs Annual Review 2008 42


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Technology College. Through our consultations, and linking in other potential opportunities for the area, we believe that these facilities could involve: •

a Skills Centre focused on training in sustainable house building and retrofitting; as well as providing a useful training arm to Role 2, this could also target efforts at reducing the relatively high numbers of 16-19 year olds who are Not in Education, Employment or Training in Whitehill Bordon (around 12% of the 16-19 population)

sixth form provision at Mill Chase Community Technology College that complements the strong A-Level and growing vocational offer already provided by Alton College

an improved level of adult education provision, and the possible re-instatement of the Learn Direct provision previously provided by Farnborough College of Technology in partnership with Jobcentre Plus

potentially, activity building from the training activities undertaken for SEME by VT (or its successor), consistent with government’s commitment to apprenticeships and other forms of vocational training.

Assessment of the roles against the future scenarios 5.24

In the paragraphs above, we have outlined four potential economic roles for Whitehill Bordon. All four are credible and all have some grounding in Whitehill Bordon’s present character, but none are inevitable. Whether they can be delivered depends in part on the two major uncertainties that formed the focus of the discussion in Chapter 4: •

the timing and phasing of the Garrison’s closure

the resource that Government commits over the medium term to driving forward the delivery of eco-towns.

5.25

Chapter 4 used the device of three future scenarios to consider the implications of these uncertainties individually and combination. In Table 5-2 overleaf, we attempt to map each of the roles described in this chapter against the three scenarios.

5.26

The purpose of this exercise is to understand better whether specific roles become more – or less – achievable and credible under three scenarios which are all plausible with regard to the future of Whitehill Bordon. Essentially, therefore, it is about understanding risks. The action plan – that forms the focus of the discussion in Chapter 6 – will need to be developed and implemented in a manner which is cognisant of these different concerns.

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Table 5-2 Assessment of four future Roles for Whitehill Bordon in relation to three scenarios relating to the closure of the Garrison and the emergence of Whitehill Bordon as a fully-fledged eco-town Role 1: Linking Whitehill Bordon into the aerospace/high value engineering cluster within the Blackwater Valley Key features of the role

Role 2: An exemplar in relation to sustainability, in terms of living and working and business activity

Role 3: A focus for leisure and tourism

Role 4: A hub for post-16 education and training

Consistent with government’s policy in relation to industrial activism and advanced manufacturing

Strong fit with government’s environmental/climate change agenda

Tapping into the town’s location on the northern edge of the new South Downs National Park

Good fit with Government agenda to raise the skills of the existing and future workforce

Whitehill Bordon provides a range of business units at low cost – including an incubator/innovation centre and managed workspace

Whitehill Bordon provides a visitor centre as the ‘northern gateway’ to the National Park

Larger units are made available at low cost for industrial uses

Potential for conversion of Officers’ Mess into a 3* star hotel

Scale of development is big enough to make a strong case for a Skills Centre, focused on training in sustainable house construction and retro-fitting

Early funding sought for an innovative programme to retro-fit the existing housing stock and achieve radical improvement to its environmental performance. This also provides the impetus for a marketing campaign to attract environmental businesses and give a further focus to Role 1

Identification of site to attract a leisure-based developer in surrounding woodland

Town develops a sixth form offer at Mill Chase Community Technology College that complements the strong A-Level and growing vocational offer already provided by Alton College

Provision is made for a high profile, flagship, inward investment

Links are forged to larger enterprises in the Blackwater Valley and the spin-off of new business ventures is encouraged, perhaps with an emphasis on proto-type manufacturing

VT staff are redeployed to provide technical training and support apprenticeships in the advanced manufacturing sector

design of new houses including affordable ones encourages homeworking. This helps to seed businesses for the incubator/innovation centre

The Forestry Commission is encouraged to have a visible presence in the town (perhaps showcased in the visitor centre) so research at Alice Holt can be featured as part of Whitehill Bordon’s effort to attract environmental research activity

Opportunities and threats in relation to each Role under three Scenarios: Scenario 1: The development of the eco-town is substantively and sustainably resourced by the public sector over

OPPORTUNITIES

OPPORTUNITIES

Key role for HCA in delivering decommissioned MoD buildings for low cost re-use

As with Role 1, key role for HCA in delivering decommissioned MoD buildings for low cost re-use

Public sector has resources to

As with Role 1, public sector has

OPPORTUNITIES •

Eco-town status and political attention should provide additional leverage in securing a National Park visitor centre

OPPORTUNITIES •

As with Scenario 2, key role for Hampshire County Council in ensuring that Whitehill Bordon meets 14 -19 Reform programme

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Role 1: Linking Whitehill Bordon into the aerospace/high value engineering cluster within the Blackwater Valley the medium term, and the Garrison closes in the middle part of the next decade……

market and promote Whitehill Bordon effectively in relation to Role 1

resources to market and promote Whitehill Bordon •

Opportunity to focus on the attraction of “environmental” engineering

THREATS •

Scenario 2: The development of the eco-town proceeds with minimal public sector investment, and the Garrison closes in the middle part of the next decade…

Role 2: An exemplar in relation to sustainability, in terms of living and working and business activity

Concern that low cost workshop units may sit uncomfortably with eco-town image (needs managing) and they may “compete” for scarce land with housing and other uses

OPPORTUNITIES •

Likely to be limited competing demand for decommissioned buildings: prices should be low

Unclear whether MoD buildings would be saved for manufacturingbased re-use without positive and purposive intervention

• •

THREATS •

Overall shortage of public sector funds lowers quality of development. Environmental businesses may be land extensive and some may be “bad neighbours”. There may be conflicts with housing development in terms of the quantum of land take and its location

OPPORTUNITIES •

THREATS •

Strong case for retrofitting older housing

Role 3: A focus for leisure and tourism

As with Role 1, there is likely to be limited competing demand for decommissioned buildings: prices should be low

As with Role 1, it is unclear whether MoD buildings would be saved for manufacturing-based re-use without positive intervention

Preoccupation with delivering housing aspects of the eco-town may relegate tourism to a second priority

Large scale construction activity may discourage visitors

OPPORTUNITIES

Whitehill Bordon has a reduced USP (i.e. low levels of funds and no dedicated delivery vehicle to stimulate development), making it harder to attract environment sector businesses It may be tougher to attract public funds to retrofit the housing stock -

With eco-town badge and resources, there is likely to be more funding available for a Skills Centre

THREATS •

None

OPPORTUNITIES

Strong case for National Park visitor centre in Whitehill Bordon and support for a leisure-based development as part of public sector package responding to MoD closure

With potential expansion of the town Hampshire County Council will need to invest so as to ensure that Whitehill Bordon meets 14 -19 Reform programme targets

Officers’ Mess available for conversion

Improvement at Mill Chase Community Technology College can continue and be accelerated as new, more stable, population moves into the town

Increases in population due to housing growth could encourage further investment in adult education facilities in the area

THREATS •

Possible interpretation centre for the eco-town would provide added wet weather visitor attraction which might co-locate with the National Park Centre

targets •

THREATS

THREATS •

Interest in converting Officers’ Mess should be greater

Role 4: A hub for post-16 education and training

With reduced regional and national attention on the town, it may be harder to attract developer interest Slower housing development on derelict land will make the area less attractive for hotel investment

THREATS •

With a reduced USP to attract sustainable businesses (i.e. low

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Role 1: Linking Whitehill Bordon into the aerospace/high value engineering cluster within the Blackwater Valley

Role 2: An exemplar in relation to sustainability, in terms of living and working and business activity

Role 3: A focus for leisure and tourism

Role 4: A hub for post-16 education and training

though this should still be attempted

Scenario 3: Whitehill Bordon eco-town retains a strong military presence over the next decade…

OPPORTUNITIES •

Whitehill Bordon retains its current employment profile and it retains the skilled workforce which underpins Role 1

OPPORTUNITIES •

None

levels of funds and no dedicated delivery vehicle to stimulate development), it would be difficult to find the funding required to build and run the Skills Centre OPPORTUNITIES •

Whitehill Bordon continues to pursue hotel developer interest in Viking Way, possibly with a much smaller scale National Park information centre as part of the development

Scope for a sizeable leisure-based development still worth pursuing

THREATS •

None

THREATS •

MoD buildings may not be released and will not therefore be available for re-use

Role 1 is difficult to envisage under Scenario 3 (because of supply side constraints). It is plausible under both other scenarios although in both cases there will be delivery challenges. Under Scenario 1, the compatibility of the Role 1 with eco-town ideals may need to be “sold”

Role 2 is difficult to envisage under Scenarios 3 or 2. It is credible under Scenario 1, though not an easy win as many other areas across the UK are targeting environmental industries –and some have a head start.

Perception of Whitehill Bordon as a garrison town persists, which will deter investment in tourism infrastructure

Drop in school-roll as military families leave the area seriously damages the viability of local schools

Despite efforts by Alton College and other education providers to improve the availability of adult education in the area, a step change improvement may be unachievable

No business case for a Skills Centre

Officers’ Mess not available for redevelopment

Role 3 is relevant for all Scenarios. It will be toughest to achieve under Scenario 3 and easiest under Scenario 1

Continual incremental improvements at Mill Chase Community Technology College, including further development of the partnership with Alton College

THREATS

THREATS

Uncertain as to whether staff currently employed by VT will be available for non-military uses

Overall assessment of the role and its resilience and plausibility under different scenarios

OPPORTUNITIES

Role can be delivered to some degree in all of the scenarios, but would be limited to incremental change under Scenario 3, while under Scenario 2 it would be difficult to find the funding required to build and run the Skills Centre

Source: SQW Consulting

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

6: Making the four different roles happen

Introduction 6.1

Chapters 4 and 5 have considered a range of potential future economic roles for Whitehill Bordon and have – in broad terms – examined their credibility and robustness under different future scenarios. The focus of this final chapter is the actions that need to be taken to make these different roles happen.

6.2

In our view, whichever of the scenarios presented in Chapter 4 materialises, there is a convincing case for a greater level of intervention than hitherto. Whitehill Bordon has, today, relatively high levels of social deprivation, a fragile economic structure, poor service provision (from both public and private sectors) and an inadequate transport infrastructure. Whilst finding resources to support interventions may be a serious challenge, it should be recognised that, without intervention, prospective developments in the national economy may well worsen the town’s relative deprivation.

6.3

The scale of the employment challenge if the MoD does relocate is evidenced by recent (Spring 2009) forecasts produced by Experian. In the period 2006 to 2026, these showed net employment growth of 3,144 for East Hampshire as whole. The impact of the MoD closure would more or less cancel out this “natural” growth. Market forces will tend to take up some of the human resources released by the MoD but only if there is the land and infrastructure to enable firms to operate efficiently.

633,311 710,973

Figure 6-1 Forecasts net jobs growth in Hampshire local authority areas 800,000 700,000

500,000 400,000

77,552 87,491

45,293 49,473

41,633 48,948

23,059 26,997

52,575 58,546

67,020 73,734

53,677 56,791

73,652 87,802

100,000

59,466 64,214

200,000

51,437 53,506

300,000 87,947 103,471

Net additional jobs

600,000

2006

H av an t N ew Fo re st H am ps hi re

H ar t

t os po r G

Fa re ha m

Ea st le ig h

R us hm oo r Te st Va ll e y W in ch es te Ea r st H am ps hi re

Ba si ng st ok

e

&

D ea n

0

2026

Source: Experian, Spring 2009

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Elements of an Action Plan 6.4

In the pages which follow, we summarise some of the key actions that we think will need to be taken at different stages in the re-development of Whitehill Bordon; all of these actions are consistent with the contents of the emerging masterplan. The stages relate to the MoD move and that the process of achieving a strong and visible eco-town presence. In terms of the former, the release of MoD sites and premises represents a substantial – and important – development opportunity in its own right and one on which the Whitehill Bordon venture must capitalise; the issues, opportunities and requisite actions associated with this process are considered in Annex C.

6.5

In considering what actions can be taken there is a need to distinguish between: •

transitional actions 2010-2015 (i): actions that can be taken before the timing of the MoD move is confirmed and before the eco-town achieves a strong and visible presence

transitional actions 2010-2015 (ii): actions that can be taken when the MoD move is certain (including the phasing involved) but before the eco-town achieves a strong and visible presence

main delivery phase 2015-2026: actions that can be taken when both the MoD move is well underway and the eco-town project is a substantive and substantial physical reality.

Transitional actions 2010-2015 (i): actions that can be taken before the timing of the MoD move is confirmed and before the eco-town achieves a strong and visible presence •

Building upon the themes highlighted in the bid for eco-town demonstration funding (Whitehill Bordon Opportunity Draft Early Wins Prospectus), investigate the potential for an early retro-fit programme of the existing housing stock. Potentially, one of the MoD buildings could be used to manufacture required materials, etc. On a pilot basis, this could also potentially form an early strand of skills centre activity

See if a building can be found for an incubator/innovation centre.

Check and confirm with MoD whether any buildings (inc. relevant parts of Louisburg Barracks) can be released early.

Secure access to relevant MoD buildings for a thorough review of condition, convertibility and to undertake a full structural survey. Get costings done as the basis for negotiations with the MoD. Along with demolition costs, calculate the carbon cost of failing to re-use them.

Progress the possibility of a large leisure/tourism development on the outskirts of Whitehill Bordon.

Push forward on the education agenda. 48


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Bring forward new employment land areas (consistent with the masterplan for the eco town) which can be brought forward quickly as a basis for assisting current businesses that are require grow-on space and/or to provide any required ‘quick win’ project space. Within this context, make specific provision for a large site that could be used to attract a flagship inward investor

Identify sites and/or premises suitable for provision of civic offices.

Undertake one to one discussions with key local employers to understand their prospects and identify assistance that public agencies can, realistically, give.

Undertake consultation on the needs of current businesses and how they could benefit from the town’s designation as an eco-town.

Undertake research to identify firms that might be attracted to Whitehill Bordon and begin to develop a marketing proposition and strategy. Potentially, these target firms might include:



businesses currently located in the Blackwater Valley that are looking for additional (or different) sites and premises



businesses that are located elsewhere in the UK or internationally and have strong links into the Blackwater Valley as a result of supply chain (and other) relationships.

Ensure that the masterplan and employment and land allocations are reflected, and supported, in the district’s Core Strategy and Local Development Framework.

Transitional actions 2010-2015 (ii): actions that can be taken when the MoD move is certain (including the phasing involved) but before the eco-town achieves a strong and visible presence •

Ensure that the MoD hands over complete documentation of buildings and service runs (routings, capacities and condition).

Make a rapid start with building re-use for industry (see Annex C for a detailed discussion).

Undertake an outline feasibility study for converting the Officers’ Mess into a hotel. This will provide the basis for a credible marketing document (full feasibility work will be unnecessary as interested bidders will undertake their own).

Present the masterplan essentials in a marketing document that will appeal to firms i.e. a dynamic ambitious place with high potential – get in quick before costs rise!

Explore with VT possible structures for continuing (some aspects of) their training activities in Whitehill Bordon.

Continue to pursue other actions already underway and re-emphasise the case for resources. 49


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Main delivery phase 2015-2026: actions that can be taken when both the MoD move is well underway and the eco-town has achieved a strong and visible presence •

Push for a firm HCA commitment to a major programme of retro-fitting of older housing.

Target marketing strenuously at “environmental” industries especially those relevant to the retro-fit programme – consider whether this should have an international dimension and activate UKTI.

Launch a wider marketing strategy – again considering whether this should have an international dimension and activate UKTI.

Develop plans for an interpretation centre covering both the town and the surrounding Forest Resource and Alice Holt’s research work.

Prepare the business plan for the Skill Centre, possibly utilising current MoD learning centre.

Sustain efforts on other aspects of education.

Push for improved public transport linkages – especially with the Blackwater Valley towns.

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Annex A: List of consultees Table 1 Steering group members Name

Organisation

Daphne Gardner

East Hampshire District Council

Natalie Brahma-Pearl

East Hampshire District Council

Mike Gibbs

East Hampshire District Council

Alistair Speirs

East Hampshire District Council

Steve Bradley

East Hampshire District Council

Ian Godfrey

East Hampshire District Council

Tom Bale

East Hampshire District Council

Steve Proctor

East Hampshire District Council

Valerie Dobson

East Hampshire District Council

Wendy Shillam

East Hampshire District Council

Daniel Bridge

EDAW

Daniel Lindsay

EDAW

John Rees Evans

Hampshire County Council

Ian Parker

Hampshire County Council

Jane Griffin

South East England Development Agency

Andrea Maccallum Source: SQW Consulting

South East England Development Agency

Table 2 List of consultees (ordered by organisation) Name

Organisation

Steve McCormack

Alton College

Jane Machell

Alton College

Eduardo Hernandez

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

Janet Green

Consultant acting on behalf of Annington Developments Ltd

Debbie Vodden

East Hampshire District Council

Mike Gibbs

East Hampshire District Council

Hugh Williams

Forestry Commission - Alice Holt

Christine Davis

Farnborough College of Technology

Iain Wolloff

Farnborough College of Technology

John Rees Evans

Hampshire County Council

Barry Robinson

Hampshire County Council

Ian Parker

Hampshire County Council

Emily Preston

Hampshire County Council

Stuart Roberts

Hampshire County Council

Cllr. Ian Dowdle

Portfolio Holder for Whitehill Bordon

Charlotte Cordy-Redden

Whitehill Bordon Garrison

John Taylor

Whitehill Bordon Garrison

Alex Khan

Vosper Thorneycroft - Education and Skills

Tony Buchanan – Training and Business Manager

Vosper Thorneycroft - Land

Kelvin Roberts

Vosper Thorneycroft – Land

Ted Shaw

Vosper Thorneycroft – Land

A-1


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council Name

Organisation

Tony Buchanan Source: SQW Consulting

Vosper Thorneycroft - Land

A-2


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Annex B: Additional information regarding the potential economic roles for Whitehill Bordon Role 1: Linking Whitehill Bordon into the aerospace/high value engineering cluster within the Blackwater Valley (additional information on government policy) Manufacturing: New Challenges, New Opportunities September 200827 B.1

This report emphasised the importance of manufacturing to the UK economy; that there is more activity and success than is typically thought and that it is a major contributor to exports. The report makes reference to the increasing levels of skill requirements in the sector and placed substantial emphasis on policies to improve skills. Within this, there was mention of the involvement of Vosper Thorneycroft along with Nissan, Toyota Corus, Rolls Royce, Caterpillar, Ford, GKN, Airbus and BAE systems in the “pioneering development” of the National Skills Academy for Manufacturing.

B.2

Despite the recent emphasis on the total value chain, production is still important. Data from 2006 for “shares of UK manufacturing earnings across the value chain” showed the following shares:

B.3

production, trades: 27.5%:

production, professional: 21.1%

support services, professional: 20.1%

sales and marketing: 13.2%

support services, trades: 7.0%

logistics and distribution: 5.9%

R&D, design trades: 5.3%

Clusters were identified as of potential benefit and an analysis in the supporting BERR Economics Paper No 2 argues that many firms see co-location of different elements of the value chain as important/very important notably including: •

research with design and development: 63%

production and assembly with design and development: 64%

logistics and integration with production and assembly: 68%

sales with brand and marketing: 67%

27 Manufacturing: New Challenges, New Opportunities September 2008, the Department for Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS)

B-1


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

• B.4

service provision with sales: 56%

General responses to improve the UK framework conditions for manufacturing included skills, infrastructure, R&D, regulation and legal etc. There is also emphasis on public procurement. However, the principal strategic emphasis is on opportunities for manufacturing from the low carbon economy. In this section the Ernst & Young report “Comparative advantage and green business, June 2008” is a main source of evidence. The three key strands are nuclear energy, renewable energy and low carbon vehicles. Under renewable energy there is a commitment to establish an Office for Renewable Energy to develop strategy and supporting policy and actions. New Industry New Jobs April 200928

B.5

This is a more interventionist report, at least in tone, and says that the strategy needs to ensure that “British science and technology are at the heart of the revolutions in industrial production that will define the 21st century. In promising areas like advanced engineering, electronics and biosciences, British companies already hold strong advantages…….But those strengths need to be reinforced and Government needs to play a greater role in fostering them.”

B.6

There is a commitment to build on the 2008 Manufacturing Strategy and an emphasis on:

B.7

“low carbon industrial strategy”

“ultra low carbon vehicles”

“digital Britain”

“life sciences and pharmaceuticals”

“advanced manufacturing” where specific mention is made of: 

aerospace – engine and wing design for the low carbon age



composite materials – for application in many industries



industrial biotechnology sector – with the chemical industry shifting from oil to renewable and biological substances



plastic electronics”

For advanced manufacturing, the ringing commitment is that “Over the next few months we will assess both opportunities and constraints in these areas to determine whether there is any role for Government in unlocking competitive potential in these areas”.

28

New Industry New Jobs April 2009, HM Treasury B-2


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Role 2: Exemplar for sustainable development (additional information on industry definition and UK growth prospects) B.8

Eco-industries produce a broad range of goods and services. Traditionally, the environmental goods and services (EGS) sector has included industries such as air, noise and marine pollution prevention, land and water contamination, waste management, recycling, and environmental consultancy. More recently the definition of the section has been broadened to include carbon abatement industries, such as, renewable energy technologies (hydro, wave, tidal, wind, solar), energy management, and carbon finance. The latest Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) (2009) industry analysis29 updated the definition to ‘low carbon and environmental goods and services’ (LCEGS). This definition is split into three Level 1 sectors and a further 23 Level 2 sectors, as shown in Table B-1. Table B-1 Low carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS) Level 1 and Level 2 sectors Level 1 LCEGS sectors •

Environmental

Renewable energy

Emerging low carbon

Level 2 LCEGS sectors •

Air pollution control

Environmental Consultancy

Environmental monitoring

Marine pollution control

Noise and vibration

Contaminated land remediation

Waste management

Water supply and water treatment

Recovery and Recycling

Hydro

Wave and tidal

Biomass

Wind

Geothermal

Solar PV

Renewable consulting

Alternative fuels

Alternative fuels for vehicles

Additional energy sources

Carbon capture and storage

Carbon finance

Energy management

Building technologies

Source: BERR (2009)

B.9

The latest figures suggest strong growth prospects for the LCEGS sectors. From the current base of £107 billion the market value is expected to grow to £155 billion by 2015. This

29

BERR (2009). ‘Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services: an industry analysis’, Innovas B-3


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

represents an overall increase of 45% of market value. As is evident from Table B-2 below, the renewable energy sector is expected to grow quickest. Table B-2 Forecast growth in UK LECEGS market value LCEGS sector

Market value 2007/08 (£bn)

Market value 2010/11 (£bn)

Market value 2014/15 (£bn)

Cumulative growth (£bn)

Cumulative growth (%)

Environment

22

24

27

5

22%

Renewable energy

31

38

50

19

63%

Emerging low carbon

53

62

77

24

45%

Total

107

124

155

48.3

45%

Source: BERR (2009)

B.10

Wind energy is estimated to have the largest sub-sector growth rate between 2008 and 2015 at 79%. Five other sub-sectors are expected to achieve growth rates above 50%: photovoltaic (67%), noise and vibration control (65%), carbon finance (62%), wave and tidal (57%), and geothermal (52%).

B.11

The growth in LCEGS sectors is expected to add over 390,000 jobs by 2015. These estimates are based upon expected growth and current market value, therefore the largest job increases are likely to be in alternative fuels (75,000 additional jobs), wind (69,000 additional jobs), building technologies (48,000 additional jobs), and alternative fuels for vehicles (40,000 additional jobs). Regional, sub-regional positioning

B.12

Almost 6,650 LCEGS firms are based in the South East. This includes 6,650 emerging low carbon firms, 1,850 renewable energy firms, and 1,400 environmental firms. In total these firms currently employ 113,000 individuals, equating to 13.4% of the total UK LCEGS employment.

B.13

A number of sub-sectors currently have above average performance30 (indicating competitive advantage) in the South East. These include environmental monitoring, marine pollution control, and building technologies. In addition to these sub-sectors, the South East also currently has the largest regional share of market value in the alternative fuels sub-sector. Figure B-1 summarises the South East LCEGS sectors in terms of market value, employment and growth levels.

30 Above average performance is measured as those sectors with market value shares at least two percentage points above the region’s GVA share.

B-4


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council Figure B-1 : South East LCEGS market value, employment and growth levels (bubble size represents market value) 9

South East All Sub Sectors - Sales, Employment and Growth

Annual Growth 2007

8

Photovoltaic

7

Biomass

Wave & Tidal 6

Wind

Geothermal Building Technologies

Carbon Finance

5 Environmental Consultancy 4

Marine Pollution Control

Noise & Vibration Control Energy Alternative Fuel Vehicle Management Recovery and Recycling Hydro Renewable 3 Waste Management Contaminated Land Consulting Air Pollution 2

Alternative Fuels

Water and Waste Water 1 0 -5000

0

5000

10000

15000

20000

Em ploym ent

Source: BERR (2009)

B.14

SEEDA research31 found that within the South East some sub-regional specialisation is occurring. In particular the counties to the west of London, such as Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, and northern Hampshire support a sizeable amount of firms providing environmental technologies and environmental advice. The major firms located here include Thames Water, AEA Technology, Babtie and JacobsGibb. Conversely, it was found that the southern counties tend to focus any activities on capitalising on a high quality environment, such as tourism, and primary industries such as agriculture. Factor conditions for investment (e.g. built form requirements for clean technology sectors)

B.15

There are few universal infrastructure/ built environment needs within the LCEGS sectors. Requirements tend to be site or industry specific, with different sub-sectors requiring very different types of space, equipment, buildings and resources. For example, a firm involved in carbon finance requires a very different workspace to one that manufactures wind turbines or develops alternative fuels.

B.16

Previous SQW Consulting experience32 suggests that to attract environmental and clean technology firms the eco-town development will likely require a range of building units for the different types and scales of operators. This will range from small offices and nursery units to larger factories and/or laboratories. In addition, if the town is to incorporate major

31

SEEDA (2002), â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Environmental Economy of the South East of Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. SQW undertook a study for the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation that developed a high level business plan for the Dagenham Dock Sustainable Industrial Park. This work included a survey of possible and prospective tenants, all of which were environmental or clean tech firms, to ask what requirements and facilities they required if they were to locate their business at the Sustainable Industrial Park. 32

B-5


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

plants, such as those that create energy from waste, these are likely to have significant space requirements and are often regarded as being a ‘bad neighbour’ for other businesses and residential sites in close proximity. B.17

As a guide, the Carbon Trust33 notes several key issues that should be considered in new business-space developments. These include building form and function, building fabric, lighting, ventilation, cooling beyond ventilation, and space heating and hot water. It is likely that the quality of the buildings and their sustainable development credentials will be particularly important to firms that that work within the LCEGS sectors.

B.18

An important component of sustainable developments is utilising synergies between different occupiers. This could be through integrated resource strategies, ‘closed-loop’ materials recycling, and neighbourhood based combined heat and power systems.

Role 3: Whitehill Bordon as a tourism hub (additional information on the Hampshire and East Hampshire tourism industry) B.19

Hampshire currently has a large tourism market. In 2004, 13.2m nights were spent in the area (which includes Portsmouth and Southampton) spending £670m. The area’s main markets are business tourism and the short-break/day-trip domestic market. After some difficult years in the 2000’s (due to Foot and Mouth disease, a poor US tourism market, budget flights and poor summer weather), the latter half of the 2000’s, up the recent economic downturn, has seen positive growth. In Hampshire the sector supports around 36,000 jobs, 4% of the workforce34.

B.20

In East Hampshire, the tourism sector employs 3,333 (or 2,873 FTEs)35. Around 70% of the tourism market in the district is low value business tourism, mainly contractors staying in budget hotels. Other sources of business tourism is derived from spill-over from Blackwater Valley, although again this is for overnight stays rather than conferencing as the area does not have any medium/large conference facilities.

B.21

In recent years the leisure market has suffered due to a drop-off in the weekend market and the wedding market in particular36. It was reported through our consultations that Alton, which used to have three 3* hotels, now has only one due to closures and loss of star ratings.

B.22

The area, does, however have some large attractions: •

Bird World, near Farnham: large aviary attracting around 130,000 visitors/annum (paid entry)

Jane Austen’s House (in Alton): attracts only around 30,000 visitors/annum but it was reported that this the attraction appeals to the relatively higher spending US tourism market (paid entry)

33

Carbon Trust (2004), ‘Procuring smart, energy efficient office buildings’. All statistics sources from: Hampshire’s Population, Economic and Tourism Profile, East Hampshire District Council 35 The Economic Impact of Tourism in east Hampshire, 2006, Tourism South East 36 Hotel Opportunities Study for East Hampshire 34

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Gilbert white’s House (in Selbourne): attracts around 30,000 visitors/annum (paid entry)

Horndean Country Park: attracts around 700,000 visitors/annum (free entry, but pay for car parking)

Alice Holt Forest (five miles north of Whitehill Bordon): offers forest walks, cycling and Go Ape Forest adventure course

Role 4: A hub for post 16 education and training (additional information on Government policy) B.23

In 2006, Lord Leitch37 identified the need to invest in raising the skills and qualifications of adults in the UK. The Leitch Review acknowledged that there are significant weaknesses in the national skills base, especially among working adults that contribute to the continuing productivity gap that the UK has with its other counterparts. The crux of the Leitch Review and its recommendations lay in establishing a ‘demand led’ and partnership approach which translates into engaging with employers and learners effectively in both understanding skills needs and ensuring that the supply of skills is responsive to employer and learner requirements. It also emphasised strongly the need to integrate employment and skills to help people prepare for and face challenges in the labour market.

B.24

More recently, in response to the s (March 2008) White Paper, responsibility for planning and commissioning 16-19 provision is being transferred from Learning and Skills Councils to upper tier local authorities. From September 2010, local authorities will have overall responsibility for the outcomes and achievement of all children and young people aged 0-19. This should mean:

B.25

a greater focus on the five Every Child Matters outcomes and the objectives of the 2007 Children’s Plan

real progress with the 14-19 Reform Programme, notably the requirement that all 1419 year olds must have access to suitable provision delivered in appropriate settings, encouraging them to participate in learning until age 17 (by 2013) and 18 (by 2015).

In summary, therefore, the Government’s drive to improve skills levels in both the current and future workforce is strong and purposeful. Indeed, improving skills levels are seen as being critical in preparing the UK to take advantage of the opportunities that will emerge once the economic downturn comes to an end.

37

Leitch (2006) Prosperity for all in the global economy: world class skills, HM Treasury B-7


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Annex C: Making use of MoD buildings for employment C.1

In the initial years after the Garrison moves from Whitehill Bordon, and before the eco-town succeeds in changing the town’s image, a low cost offering is likely to be crucial to attracting businesses. For businesses requiring start-up accommodation (incubation or innovation centre), small workshop units and larger light industrial units, a number of the buildings currently in use by the MoD could, on the basis of a superficial examination and providing they are relatively low cost, be a positive attraction. This annex provides an initial and very tentative estimate of the jobs that might be attracted by making a range of buildings available. Its main purpose is to help preparation of the masterplan.

C.2

At present we find it difficult to suppose that firms needing office space, apart from micro businesses and perhaps some smaller SMEs, will be attracted to Whitehill Bordon. As and when the eco-town manages to put the town “on the map”, this may change. In the early years, however, the likelihood of attracting developers willing to build office space speculatively will be low and it will not, therefore, be easy to test the market unless a high amenity site can be identified for a bespoke office. Even then the chances of attracting a private sector user will be problematic. Attracting a public sector organisation may be easier in some respects as their criteria will include the economic and social needs which arise from the loss of the MOD (though tight public sector finance may be a serious obstacle).

Using the ex-MoD buildings Supply C.3

The MoD will leave behind almost 150 buildings ranging from Officers’ and Sergeants’ messes in multi-storey properties to very substantial industrial buildings, with high head room, which are used for engineering and training purposes. In total, these buildings have a footprint of 157,000m². To assist our work, Wendy Shillham from East Hampshire District Council made an initial assessment of the quality of the MoD buildings and their potential suitability for commercial use38. The key points to note from this assessment are as follows: •

there are a number of high quality buildings (coloured red). These are mainly brickbuilt Edwardian villas and barracks. They are constructed of load bearing brickwork and have a good (though probably not listable) architectural quality. They would be suitable for conversion to flats, hotels or cellular offices

blue coloured buildings have potential to be used for industrial purposes. These buildings range from building H-043, with a footprint of 24,400m² and some office space, to former stables covering as little as 360m². Many of the larger buildings have high open bay construction which may well permit the installation of mezzanine floors for office or storage space. They often have heavy girders for lifting equipment and the practicalities of removing this will need to be determined in the survey

38

An architectural and structural survey covering services as well as structures will be required to confirm this assessment and provide an estimate of conversion costs and practicalities. C-1


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

(though some firms may be happy to retain the equipment if MoD decides to leave it behind) •

buildings coloured green comprise smaller buildings which are either too small to be of use for light industry or need to be retained for other uses. Notably the Prince Phillips Barracks "student flats" come into this category.

Demand C.4

It is very hard to judge what the strength of demand will be when the property becomes available for re-use. The economic outlook is currently fraught with uncertainties and, as already mentioned above, cost will be a crucial factor determining the strength of demand. In these circumstances a phased approach seems sensible. An assessment of the scope for “Enterprise and Innovation Facilities” was undertaken in the period January to March 2006.39 This was lukewarm as to the likely demand for small units but the business survey undertaken was overly narrow as it only covered home-based business in the East Hampshire “area”. Moreover both the current economic climate and the impetus for growth from eco-town designation will render the report’s conclusions open to question.

C.5

A further factor which will complicate demand assessment is that some (perhaps most) of the buildings will be subject to re-development in subsequent stages; either to achieve better land utilisation (at Louisburg barracks) or, perhaps, to provide housing land (the larger buildings in Station Road). Relatively short leases may be attractive to some businesses, not least if accompanied by low rents, but this will need to be explored with agents and firms once the offer has been better defined. Space for small and micro businesses (encouraging new business starts)

C.6

We suggest that a first phase (say in years 0-5 following the Garrison’s relocation) should include an incubator/innovation centre with workshop space located nearby so that the centre management can also manage the workshops and their tenants can access the facilities of the centre. The Officers’ Mess situated within the Louisburg Barracks appears suitable for use as an incubator/innovation centre; it has been assessed as high quality and suitable for officebased activity. The 2,500m² of lettable space is probably below the scale required to make the operation and management of the centre financially viable; though 2,500 m² is a reasonable scale of offering given market uncertainties.

C.7

The viability of the centre can be increased by the giving it responsibility for some of the smaller buildings nearby. Ten of these provide a total of some 5,000m² of lettable space which has been assessed as suitable for industrial uses. They could be let to businesses requiring workshop space for office activities which do not require high amenity/image accommodation, or for light industrial activity.

C.8

A second phase (say in years 6 - 10 following the Garrison’s relocation) of small unit development would subsequently be brought forward in the light of the success of the enterprise centre and, in particular, the strength of demand for the workshop space. A further six buildings within the Louisburg barracks together provide 4,000m² of lettable space. 39

Enterprise and Innovation Facilities Feasibility Study: as report by WM Enterprise Consultants. C-2


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council Figure C 1 - Whitehill Bordon Industrial Opportunities

Source: Provided by East Hampshire District Council

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Medium size units Phases 1 & 2

C.9

The medium and large industrial building are situated south west of Louisburg Barracks in Station Road. The medium sized buildings are currently being used for MoD engineering works and training. Three of these are of similar size (with gross floor areas ranging between 5,000m² and 7,000m²) and, subject to a full appraisal, each could be converted into industrial units ranging, say, from 250 m² to 1,000 m² in size. The likely demand would come from Blackwater Valley “overspill” and environmental businesses attracted to the eco-town.

C.10

Unless construction practicalities and costs dictate otherwise, we suppose that only one building would be converted initially, with the release and conversion of the remaining two buildings being subject to demand. Large units Phases 1 & 2

C.11

Located in the same area as the medium sized units, the Garrison also has a number of large units (all with a gross floor area of over 8,700m²). These buildings have also been indentified as suitable for industrial uses, but they may be less suitable for conversion. It would be sensible to market one or two of these buildings to environmental businesses which could potentially be attracted to the eco-town. In this case, as the users might differ widely in their requirements, it may be prudent to offer fast-track bespoke conversion packages.

Indicative estimates of employment C.12

Estimates of employment generation that could be expected from the re-use of the buildings as described above are given in Table 1. These are illustrative rather than definitive and seek to help EDAW by giving a broad indication of the jobs that may be expected if the buildings can be converted so as to offer relatively cheap accommodation. It should be noted that, whilst there may be firms interested in using the buildings for warehousing and distribution (B8), we have assumed that they will not be welcomed in the eco-town. In environmental terms the location is far from ideal for such activities and their low employment densities would probably make undue demands on relatively scarce employment land. Table C 3 Potential employment sites and uses Site*

Area

Lettable m2

Broad Employment use

Sq m per worker**

Employment estimate (FTEs)

Louisburg barracks (Officers Mess)

2,500

Incubator/

20

125

Small Units Phase 1: L-024

Innovation Centre

C-4


Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council Site*

L-013 – L-022

Area

Lettable m2

Broad Employment use

Sq m per worker**

Employment estimate (FTEs)

Louisburg barracks

5,000

Small unit workspace office or light industry

33

150

Louisburg barracks

4,000

Small unit workspace office or light industry

33

120

Station road

18,500

light industry

40

460

Station road

26,000

Sui generis

50

520

Phase 2: L-007 – L0-12

Medium sized units Phases 1 & 2 H-014, H-018, H-029 Large units Phases 1 & 2 H-040 – H-043 Totals

56,000

1,375

Source: SQW Consulting *See Annex A for a map of the MoD buildings including building identification numbers **adapted from: Employment Densities: A Full Guide, English Partnerships

C.13

C.14

Thus the over the ten years following the relocation of the Garrison, re-use of the buildings identified above could provide up to 56,000m² of lettable space, which could support almost 1,400 jobs. In addition to all the caveats already made there are two additional cautions relating to this total: •

first, as mentioned above, it may be that some of these buildings will only be used for employment during an interim period until the land is required for other purposes. We cannot judge the extent to which this will damage demand though, depending on the length of lease offered, it may well be a negative factor – especially for the larger units (which account for two-thirds of the total employment)

second the employment density for the large units is, given the sui generis assumption as to the uses they will accommodate, subject to wide variation.

Finally, it has been suggested through our consultations that site S-001, which is currently another Officers’ Mess could provide a suitable location and premises for a medium size hotel. Further work would be required to assess the appropriate grading and size of the hotel to provide an accurate estimation of the additional employment that this could support, but as an illustrative example, a 100 bedroom 3* hotel would expect to support around 50 jobs.

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Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials Study Report to the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Hampshire County Council & East Hampshire District Council

Masterplan map of Bordon Garrison, with building ID Figure C 2 - Masterplan map of Bordon Garrison, with building ID

C-6

Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials study  

Whitehill Bordon Economic Potentials study

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