One of the first meetings that I had as this area's new MP back in 2010 was about the Daedalus airfield. At that point, this former military site had stood unused for 14 years and had entered a state of disrepair. I was shocked to be presented with plans to fill the site with new houses - that was the last thing we needed! We needed jobs, training opportunities and investment, and Daedalus was the ideal place to kick start a regeneration project that would boost our local economy. And so I set about bringing together all of the stakeholders involved with the site to form the Daedalus Strategy Group.
Since then, this group has delivered a £54 million Enterprise Zone specialising in advanced manufacturing and engineering in the marine and aviation sector. The site is now home to a number of cutting edge businesses, a brand new Business Innovation and Centre and the CEMAST Skills Centre where 900 engineering MH students are training. The site is set to create even more jobs, allowing more people to work locally and taking cars off the road at peak times.
The Daedalus Enterprise Zone, as a flagship Government initiative, has given us the means to secure much needed investment for our local transport infrastructure. I firmly believe that the success of Daedalus is crucial to the future of our local economy. There is still much more to be done to see the site reach its full potential, and if I am re-elected tomorrow I will go on bringing investment to the Enterprise Zone so that it will continue to flourish.