MORE than £7million will be pumped into a Hampshire business zone to help create 1,000 new jobs, a government minister has confirmed.

A total of £7.09m will be invested into infrastructure within the Solent Enterprise Zone at the former MoD site Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent to enable “comprehensive redevelopment” of the Gosport Waterfront site to create a new complex of commercial and leisure business and new homes.

It came as Kris Hopkins MP, minister for housing and local growth at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) paid a visit to Fareham College's new CEMAST centre of excellence, which will open in September, and viewed plans for Fareham Borough Council's new innovation centre.

Mr Hopkins said: “DCLG have agreed a significant investment of £7.09m to prepare the Zone's Gosport Waterfront site for development at the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus.

“The grant will be used to help to unlock the Waterfront's full potential by making the site more attractive to investors looking to locate onto the Enterprise Zone.

“It will fund the construction of over 1km of roads to substantially improve road access to the site and help to develop 8,000 sq m of employment space in the short term - with the potential to deliver a further 73,000 sq m of space in the period up to 2021 and create up to 1000 jobs for the area.

“Enterprise Zones are a vital part of our long term economic plan and are delivering new businesses, jobs and skills training across the country.

“I was delighted to visit the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus, which is opening up opportunities for advanced engineering businesses and cementing the UK's reputation as a world leader in the marine, aerospace and aviation sectors.”

Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, said: “It was great to welcome Kris Hopkins to the Daedalus Enterprise Zone today following yesterday's announcement of the Local Growth Deal which will provide a significant boost to our local economy.

“What with the new CEMAST Skills Centre nearing completion, the Innovation Centre going ahead and numerous other projects currently underway, I hope that the Minister was pleased with the progress that is being made and will continue to work with local stakeholders to capitalise on the huge potential which our area has to flourish.”