Football stars and their Check-a-Trade trophy will be centre stage at a special first birthday party to help Volkswagen Breeze Motor Group celebrate a successful first year of trading at Portsmouth City Council's award-winning business park on Thursday.
Pompey striker and Republic of Ireland international Ronan Curtis and some of his Fratton Park team mates will be the stars of the show as VW van specialists Breeze toast their first year at the custom built headquarters the council built for them at Dunsbury Park.
Dunsbury is a business park the council has developed on land it owns next to junction 3 of the A3(M).
It has built-to-suit units available from 20,000 sq ft to 200,000 sq ft. Planning permission has been granted for 665,000 sq ft of manufacturing, industrial, distribution and office space. The whole site is levelled and served by a link road custom built by the council, superfast broadband, 9MVA power, gas, water and drainage ponds to cope with a one-in-one-hundred-year storm.
"Dunsbury is achieving everything we hoped it would"
Breeze brand director Michael Gunner said: “The purpose built, state-of-the-art facilities the council has built us at Dunsbury Park have been well received by our customers, and we have been delighted with the fantastic reviews and word-of-mouth business we’ve received in our first year.
"It’s great to be able to mark this important occasion for us with our partners at Portsmouth FC and with the council, while supporting the invaluable work All Call Signs are doing for active and ex-service personnel nationwide. We look forward to welcoming Pompey fans and the community on Thursday."
The council's 45- acre Dunsbury Park is also home to the global headquarters of outdoor lifestyle clothing brand Fat Face and logistics giant DPD. The Fat Face and DPD centres were also built by the council's development team.
"Dunsbury is achieving everything we hoped it would and the tenants are a major part of that so it's great to have the opportunity to celebrate VW Breeze's first birthday at the site," council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said.
"We're creating thousands of new local jobs and boosting the local economy at Dunsbury - it's a fantastic success story," he added.
"The rental income Dunsbury is generating is bringing in around £1m per year for the council services that matter most to people living in Portsmouth."
The council's development manager Kevin Hudson said: "We're delighted that the first year at Dunsbury has been such a success for Breeze and we look forward to having them here for many years to come."
Plenty to enjoy on the day
Club top scorer Curtis will sign autographs for fans with fellow Pompey seniors - defender Steve Seddon and forward Reeco Hacket-Fairchild - from 2pm to 4pm, this Thursday 20 February - with free mini footballs for the first 100 children through the door.
The event will also support Portsmouth based armed forces support charity All Call Signs.
Visitors to the Breeze first birthday party on Thursday will also be able to have their photo taken with the Check-A-Trade trophy Pompey won at Wembley last season, enjoy Volkswagen cupcakes and refreshments, and take a look around a 1967 vintage Volkswagen Beetle that looks just like Bumblebee from Transformers.
There will also be a raffle to win a goalkeeper shirt signed by the whole Pompey team and Goodwood tickets, with proceeds going to All Call Signs - a peer-to-peer communication and support app for service veterans and serving military personnel based in Portsmouth.