Tuesday 21 December 2010

Marine manufacturing centre would create 700 jobs

A new plan has been unveiled to transform a former Southampton shipyard into a marine manufacturing centre that would create 700 skilled jobs.

South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and Southampton City Council has teamed up with a private sector developer to draw up proposals for a maritime innovation quarter at Centenary Quay, the former Vosper Thornycroft site in Woolston.

A planning application is due to be lodged with council chiefs in the New Year.

The Daily Echo has learned that the project is going ahead in place of a scheme in which superyacht builder Palmer Johnson would open a yard on the site creating 800 jobs.

That plan was cast into doubt in August when the US-based firm shut down its site in Hythe with the loss of 110 jobs.

The Daily Echo understands that up to four manufacturers of leisure and commercial craft are interested in the site, which boasts key deep-water facilities.

The new plans are thought to be mixture of boatbuilding facilities and offices. This will complement a 500m development of 1,600 new homes plus shops and offices, in an area needing regeneration after Vosper Thornycroft departed the city for Portsmouth in 2004.

If the plan wins approval, work would start at the end of 2011 with the site fully developed and occupied by the end of 2013.

Source: Daily Echo

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