Growth potential

Great location

The Solent area has great natural surroundings, including the Isle of Wight and two national parks. The waters of the Solent attract world-class sailors and international marine businesses, providing a vibrant visitor economy worth over £3bn a year and supporting around 8,000 jobs.

The area is also well-connected, being close to the M27 with central London and Heathrow less than two hours away by rail or road, and two commercial ports within half an hour’s drive.

Economy and skilled workforce

The Solent has two commercial ports: Southampton which is one of the UK’s largest and is the busiest cruise port in the UK; and Portsmouth which has both a commercial and military port.    The area has a concentration of defence-related and aerospace businesses which support a high-tech manufacturing workforce.   We also have the highest concentration of marine and maritime businesses in the UK.   Its three universities – Southampton, Southampton Solent and Portsmouth – provide a full range of academic and vocational training.   Solent Local Enterprise Partnership is the principal economic development body for the Solent area and further details of its economic strategy, economic surveys, transport strategy and skills go to the website of Solent LEP