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Improving economy is bringing investment for job-generating business
HAMPSHIRE is enjoying a business boost after trade and industry leaders revealed the improving economy was fuelling growth.
The number of county firms taking on staff is on the up while companies are reporting increases in UKbased sales and orders, according to Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.
The news came as it was revealed that the nation’s GDP was up 0.8 per cent in the last quarter.
The Chamber’s chief executive Jimmy Chestnutt said: “We are pleased to report that members now believe that the economy has turned the corner and that improving economic conditions are fuelling growth in Hampshire.
“Results from our latest QES survey have shown real business optimism with a rise in the number of firms taking on staff, a reported ten per cent increase in UK sales, and a healthy 12 per cent increase in UK orders on last quarter.
“The survey results have reflected a vibrant region with a diversity of growing business sectors.”
He also pointed to recent Government plans to award £3m of Regional Growth Fund support to the Future Solent Green Growth Programme as proof the economic picture was improving in Hampshire.
“This programme will create many new employment opportunities within the Solent region over the next three years and be one of the most important drivers of growth,” he said.
Meanwhile Government bosses have pointed to the expansion of Southampton Container Port as evidence of a brighter picture emerging in the south-east.
The port has secured £150m in private sector investment to allow it to take the new super-size container vessels from next year, safeguarding 10,000 jobs connected with the facility.
They also highlighted Southampton-based hovercraft manufacturers Griffon Hoverwork, which has become one of the largest employers of apprentices on the south coast And Doug M o r r i s o n , Solent Local E n t e r p r i s e Partnership c h a i r m a n , pointed to the redevelopment of the former Daedalus airfield.
“In Solent LEP area, we have seen business confidence return, evidenced in the take-up of our business support schemes where 18 of our local businesses have made investments creating 110 new jobs,” he said.
“In addition, work in relation to the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus is gaining real momentum.
“This key development has benefited from an investment package worth over £36m; with the Centre of Excellence for Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training opening in September 2014, and funding agreed to begin construction of a new innovation centre for our small businesses and development of 25,000sq ft of employment floor space which will create over 600 new jobs.”
Across the south-east more than 73,300 new businesses were started while work started on 17,330 new homes – more than any other region.
There was also a fall in the number of over 25-year-olds unemployed, with a drop of 0.4 per cent.
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