Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage last week welcomed an official from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to the constituency to discuss the future of local military sites.
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is responsible for providing the infrastructure to meet defence needs; this includes the management of Ministry of Defence owned sites across the UK. Last week's visit enabled Caroline and local stakeholders to promote the potential of two currently disused MoD assets to boost Gosport's standing as an important marine hub on the south coast.
Firstly, the waterfront site at Royal Clarence Yard has been earmarked as an ideal location for a marine business park which would bring prosperity and jobs to the area whilst taking advantage of the maritime industries already operating in Gosport. Secondly, the redevelopment of the Crane Jetty at Fort Blockhouse and better use of the accommodation blocks would ensure that Gosport is able to provide a crucial support role when the new QE Class carriers arrive in Portsmouth Harbour in late 2016. In the meantime, the site has berthing facilities which could play a key role in berthing large yachts involved in Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup venture between 2015 and 2016.
Speaking after the visit, Caroline said:
"Gosport is already home to a number of world class racing teams and big maritime businesses but there is still more to be done to secure its status as a marine hub. That is why it is so important that these crucial sites are released for development and allowed to unlock this significant potential for growth.
Having fought hard for discussions with the DIO, I am pleased that our plans are now being considered and hope that today's visit will precipitate further negotiations in the interest of Gosport's future."
Since her election, Caroline has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Gosport peninsula reaches its full potential. She was instrumental in securing Enterprise Zone status for the former disused airfield at Daedalus and has been part of a number of successful Regional Growth Fund bids across the area including the 'Bridging the Gap' fund for small and medium businesses.