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Enterprise Challenge winners announced

attract businesses to south Hampshire SOLENT & SOUTH CENTRAL JUNE 2012 #129

The winners of this year's Enterprise Challenge awards at the University of Portsmouth have received their prizes from a former winner who is now running his own flourishing business.

Plans to bring thousands of jobs to south Hampshire have taken a further step forward as improvement work has begun on the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus.

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Gilles Macey, guest speaker, is founder and managing director of European fantasy football website Euro-Eieven. The University of Portsmouth alumnus, who said that it was a pleasure to be back at the University and present an award which had helped take him forward, advised students to start a business from something they are passionate about.

Just a few weeks after planning permission was granted to unlock the site for major development which will deliver up to 3,500 jobs for the Enterprise Zone, work is already underway to improve access to the site and boost water and electricity infrastructure. Around £1.6 million will be invested by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in this first phase of activity, which partners say marks a vital step in attracting new businesses and investors to the site.

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Contractors are currently transforming the old emergency access point near Gosport Road into a new permanent access point with its own junction and access road. Once complete, they plan to do the same at the access point off Broom Way.

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In addition, Portsmouth Water and Scottish and Southern Electric have been appointed to carry out the initial phase of bringing water and electricity to the site. Currently, the Enterprise Zone at Daedalus is served by an old Ministry of Defence utilities system, which will need to be replaced to service the scores of businesses that are expected to set up on the site in coming years. Talks are also underway to bring superfast broadband to the site and real estate firm DTZ has been appointed to market the site to potential tenants. Gary Jeffries, director of the Selent Loca l Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is responsible for delivering the Enterprise Zone, sa id: "It is incredibly exciting to see this project beginning to take shape through the new access points. The work that is taking place now is laying the foundations

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for a world-class advanced manufacturing centre that Hampshire and the UK can be truly proud of." Kevin Bourner, the HCA's head of area, added: "This phase of work marks the vital first step in attracting more businesses and investors to the site. Our £1.6m investment into phase one and the speed at which it is taking place is further proof of our commitment to making the Solent Enterprise Zone a huge success for South Hampshire." Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: "I am absolutely delighted that work has now begun on Daedalus. The Gosport peninsular has enormous potential and the Enterprise Zone is another step forward in the continuing regeneration of our borough." Executive leader of Fareham Borough Council and chairman of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH), councillor Sean Woodward, said: "The success of the Solent Enterprise Zone relies upon the commitment and investment of the Homes and Communities Agency advised by PUSH to ensure that the site is attractive to the market place. I welcome the start of works that mark the first solid evidence that this vita l business opportunity

is underway and will bring growth and jobs to Fareham and Gosport and indeed to the South Hampshire economy. The fact that the site is now receiving the infrastructure investment it deserves sends a strong signal to the markets that we really mean business." This Solent Enterprise Zone is one of 24 set up nationally to support local economic and employment growth. Led by the Selent LEP, the local authorities within south Hampshire and the HCA, a resolution to grant outline planning permission for the S'olent Enterprise Zone was agreed by Fareham and Gosport Borough Councils at the end of March 2011. By 2026, it is estimated that 3,500 j obs will be created within the Zone, turning the area into a destination of choice for businesses within the marine, aerospace and aviation sectors. Fareham and Gosport Borough Counci ls have created a draft policy for granting business rate discounts at the So lent Enterprise Zon e, copies of w hich can be accessed at the Civic Offices, online through Fareham Borough Council's website or requested by calling 01329-236100.

Details: www.solentez.co.uk

Keshia Austin, one of three first prize-winners, is the brains behind English Direct, a scheme to help students for whom English is not their first language improve their skills. She believes some students have great ideas but don't always have the English skills to put them across. English Direct aims to give international students an equal platform by providing proofreading services carried out by English language students and graduates. Dan Harper convinced the judges his idea was viable. He founded lnventoryBase, a property inventory software package for the management and production of professional tenancy reports aimed at external inventory providers and letting agents. The third award-winner was John Wheal, creator of Brick 4D, a mobile game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The app is based on a classic 'brick game' which judges believed he had taken to a whole new level. Director of the Portsmouth Centre for Enterprise, Richard Sant, said: "Seeing our graduate entrepreneurs networking and making real business connections was a real demonstration that this university is creating a powerful engine for entrepreneurs."

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE - SOLENT & SOUTH CENTRAL - JUNE 2012


The Business Magazine - Enterprise Challenge