Portsmouth City Council's award-winning business park Dunsbury Park will be a major part of the post-Covid-19 recovery after a major new engineering, manufacturing tenant was announced.
The announcement supports the council's aim to lead the way in the recovery from the global pandemic as it will be building the largest development of a dedicated manufacturing facility on the south coast this year.
Work will start this summer on building the new 120,000 sq ft manufacturing facility for Bio Pure Technologies - a fluid-path component manufacturer for the biotechnology industry. The building will be completed later next year.
Bio Pure Technologies is part of global award-winning engineering company Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group - a niche pump and associated fluid path manufacturer and subsidiary of FTSE100 company Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc.
The new unit the council is building on the 45-acre site it owns next to junction 3 of the A3(M) is expected to be ready for production in 2022 when it will create around 120 new jobs.
Hundreds more jobs will be created during later phases of the project.
The project will generate rental income for the council which will be put towards vital council services in Portsmouth.
A Bio Pure spokesperson said the new facility will help to support the companies' ambitious vision, growth, and commitment to supporting customers worldwide.
"We are not waiting around in terms of planning for recovery," leader of the council Gerald Vernon-Jackson said.
“To get this many skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs into the local area at our award-winning business park shows the positive impact councils can have on their local economy if things are done properly.
"We're excited to have another strong, international firm on board. This project is more evidence that we are seen as a reliable commercial partner by businesses of all sizes, from the smallest local start-ups to major multi-nationals."
The council's director of regeneration Tristan Samuels said: "We're delighted that Dunsbury Park is growing from strength to strength and that the development we've completed ourselves at the site is already generating more than £1m per year in rental income - money that can be used to boost council services in Portsmouth.
"We're creating thousands of new jobs at this unique, natural parkland site. It has become one of the most important facilities of its kind on the London/Solent corridor. We're delighted Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group have chosen Dunsbury Park and look forward to a long and successful relationship with them."
Andrew Mines, managing director of Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group, added: “We’re immensely proud to be able to reinforce Bio Pure’s position as a major employer in the Portsmouth area and are delighted to be working with Portsmouth City Council on this expansion project.
"Bio Pure is an important member of the Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology 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 project follows the success of global clothing brand Fat Face, which, in 2017, opened its international distribution unit in Dunsbury Park.
2017 was also the year that Dunsbury Park was named Business Park of the Year at the prestigious South Coast Property Awards.
Dunsbury 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 council was represented in the transaction by Lambert Smith Hampton and Avison Young.