A Coastal Place

Thriving freeports and 340 miles of coastline

It is often easy to overlook that more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, which makes the ‘blue environment’ our biggest opportunity for trade and innovation. 

As a coastal region, the Central South has a close and unbreakable bond with the sea and many local jobs depend on it, from tourism to travel, logistics, or defence.

The region has often played a crucial role in defending the realm, and continues to keep us safe. Portsmouth is proud to be the home of HM Royal Navy and military vessels – including the latest generation of aircraft carriers – which can often be seen leaving the city’s harbour.

Once they arrive in The Solent, they are part of one of the world’s most bustling waterways, popular with yachts and pleasure craft moored in Chichester and Poole Harbours, Cowes, and the River Hamble.

The Solent is also navigated by sizeable vessels, including ironic cruise ships such as the Cunard Queens sailing from Southampton. It is northern Europe’s busiest cruise port, and second only to Felixstowe in terms of cargo entering and leaving the UK.

This major economic activity is set to be bolstered by the Solent area securing Freeport status. It is estimated that it will attract £1.35bn of private investment in the area and create 30,000 jobs.

Southampton is also home to the National Oceanography Centre which is spearheading marine research and the impact of climate change.

As for Poole, it is the home of the RNLI training college along with Sunseeker yachts, and marine technology specialists, Actisense.