Plans to develop the area opposite Winchester Station, known as the Carfax site, will be a key catalyst for creating jobs, and will help to spur the regeneration of the wider area.
A report to the Station Approach Cabinet Committee, which meets on Tuesday 18 December, sets out the positive economic and regenerative benefits that the project could bring to the area.
The council engaged the services of Grant Thornton to carry out economic assessments of the project and its analysis demonstrates that Winchester would significantly benefit from the introduction of the proposed Grade A Office space.
Its findings also show that development of the Carfax site could generate a large number of new jobs, resulting in a substantial contribution to the local economy.
The estimated benefits include the creation of around 1,000 jobs in the city centre, with a further 400 indirect jobs, a significant number of shorter-term construction employment opportunities as well as a financial boost from the supply chain in the local area. The local economic benefit is estimated at £81m
Other social benefits include offering Winchester residents the chance to work in the city, improving their work-life balance and reducing commuting.
A number of companies continue to express interest in taking offices at Carfax and boards to promote the office space will be erected on the site over the coming weeks.
To support the public realm element of the project, the council has submitted a bid for £5m grant from the EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership to fund improvements on and around the site
These improvements will create a fitting gateway to the city and deliver an enhanced setting for the proposed development. They will also improve movement around the station, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists as well as for public transport and taxi users, in accordance with the objectives of the city’s draft Movement Strategy.
Steve Miller, Chairman of the Station Approach Cabinet Committee said: “This independent economic analysis demonstrates that the development of a high-quality office scheme at Station Approach will provide a major boost to the local economy by creating jobs and increasing trade for the businesses in the area. There will also be wider benefits that will act as a catalyst for other improvements at this Gateway location. We look forward to moving the project forward to the next stage to bring these benefits a reality.”