THE DIGGERS have moved in to start work on a new Portsmouth City Council construction project that will create hundreds of new local engineering and manufacturing jobs.
The new 120,000 sq ft specialist facility – which the council is building at its award-winning business park Dunsbury Park – will also generate millions of pounds of rental income for vital council services and will be a major part of the post-Covid-19 recovery.
Work started last week on the engineering and manufacturing unit which the council is building at its 45 acre site, next to junction 3 of the A3(M).
The new building is for BioPure Technologies Ltd – a fluid-path component manufacturer for the biotechnology industry. BioPure Technologies Ltd is part of global engineering company Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group – a niche pump and associated fluid path manufacturer and subsidiary of FTSE100 Company Spirax-Sarco Engineering PLC.
Leader of the council Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: “We’re not waiting around to start the local recovery from the pandemic.
“This building will be ready for production in 2022 when it will create around 120 new manufacturing and engineering jobs.
“Even more jobs will be created during later phases of the project.”
The council’s head of development Kevin Hudson said: “This is the largest development of a dedicated manufacturing facility on the south coast this year.
“It’s also the biggest new warehouse facility to be built on the south coast since we built a global headquarters for international clothing brand FatFace, in 2017 – also at Dunsbury Park.”
Andrew Mines, managing director of Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group, said: “We’re immensely proud to be able to reinforce BioPure’s position as a major employer in the Portsmouth area and are delighted to be working with Portsmouth City Council on this expansion project.
“BioPure is an important member of the Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group family and their products are highly valued by customers in the biopharmaceutical sector, a sector which has been at the forefront of news during the global pandemic.
“We are excited to be able to expand to this larger facility to support our growing business.”
The new facility will be built by BAM Construction.
Dunsbury Park is also home to a DPD logistics plant and the headquarters of VW van specialist Breeze Motor Group.
The council has planning permission for 665,000 sq ft of manufacturing, industrial, distribution and office space at the site and has built-to-suit units available from 20,000 sq ft to 200,000 sq ft.
The site is served by a custom-built link road, superfast broadband and high voltage power as well as drainage for a one in 100-hundred year storm.
The project is being managed by the council’s Strategic Developments team who are also managing five housing development schemes across the city to build homes for Portsmouth people at prices they can afford across.
The first tenants moved into a brand new block of 23 flats at Albion House, on the corner of King Street and Astley Street, in Southsea, last week, and more new homes are being built at:
– Doyle Avenue, Hilsea
– Brewery House, Hambrook Street, Southsea
– Arundel Street in the city centre
– Museum Road, Old Portsmouth, at the old records office site.
The Strategic Developments team is also developing plans for housing to replace the Horatia and Leamington Houses tower blocks in Somerstown which will be taken down next year because problems were found with the 1960s concrete structure of the buildings.
Plans for thousands of new homes are also part of the council’s proposals for Tipner West and the redevelopment of the city centre.
To find out more about all of these schemes go to investportsmouth.co.uk/developments