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Portsmouth - the great waterfront city

By Dan Teuton
23 July 2020


The dynamic and vibrant coastal city of Portsmouth is situated in the most prosperous region of the UK – just 70 miles from London and 90 minutes from Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

Portsmouth is the proud home of the Royal Navy and an historic maritime city steeped in heritage. 

The City is also fiercely ambitious and forward thinking with a multi-billion-pound transformation programme already underway that is positioning it as a globally significant hub for innovation, technology and creativity.

Sitting at Europe’s top table

Portsmouth is one of the best-connected cities in Europe served by excellent road and rail links and a busy international ferry port with frequent services to France and Spain. 

With a population of 215,000 people the City is home to 7,880 businesses including global heavyweights Airbus Defence and Space, Babcock, BAE Systems, Capita, IBM, Pall Europe, QinetiQ and Wartsila. 

Last year business growth hit 4.7%, 70 new businesses were established and 4,000 new jobs were created in the City.  

Portsmouth’s GVA has reached £5.7 billion and the City’s GVA-per-filled-job of £47,995 places it in Europe’s top 20 cities. GVA grew by 3.6% last year - the fastest rate for any city in the south of the UK. 

In the international spotlight

With a world-famous naval heritage, towering world-class visitor attractions, unique shopping destinations, great places to eat and drink and miles of beautiful waterfront, Portsmouth was in the international spotlight even before the D-Day 75 commemorations that attracted worldwide coverage and global acclaim last year.

World leaders and royalty attended D-Day 75; boosting Portsmouth’s already burgeoning reputation for hosting high-profile events, including the America’s Cup World Series and Victorious festival, which is fast growing into one of the UK’s most successful music events.

The City’s creative and visitor economy employs 10,000 people and has grown by 10% per year since 2010.

First-class museums and galleries include the D-Day Story - which was shortlisted for the European Museum of the Year award after reopening last year following a £5m redevelopment - and top visitor attraction the Mary Rose Museum - Henry VIII’s flagship which contains more than 50% of Tudor artefacts in existence.  

A global marine and maritime hub 

Portsmouth Naval Base is home to the UK’s brand new £6.2b aircraft carriers and two thirds of the Royal Navy surface fleet and supports 20,000 jobs; generating £1.6b of GVA.  

The City is also a global centre for marine and maritime, aerospace, defence, creative and digital industries, leading the way nationally in the development of advanced manufacturing and engineering.  

Portsmouth City Council’s determination to help businesses to grow and thrive was recognised when we won the FSB’s Most Business Friendly Council award in 2019. 


A city for the future

Portsmouth’s vision for transformational change

Portsmouth’s multi-million-pound development schemes will boost the local economy by putting a strong sense of place at the heart of the modernisation and improvement of the City; enabling people to thrive, health and wellbeing to improve and productivity to increase.  

The City’s Economic Development and Regeneration Strategy 2019-36 will ‘make Portsmouth Britain’s premier waterfront technology and innovation city’. The strategy will deliver more than 17,000 new homes and 7,000 new jobs.



Portsmouth’s award-winning, multi-disciplinary delivery teams are currently working on the major projects outlined:

City centre regeneration

Securing the long-term future of the city centre

£1b+ programme of city centre regeneration initiatives will be nationally recognised as exemplary for innovation, inclusivity and environmental responsibility. 

The health and needs of residents, businesses and the communities within the city centre will be the heartbeat for regeneration.

Future-proof plans for the city centre include: 2,600 new homes, 9,700 new jobs, 154,000 sq m of employment space and 25,000 sq m of leisure facilities.

Tipner West

Portsmouth’s once-in-a-generation opportunity 



Tipner West is a unique site where land meets sea and roadway meets waterway. Pioneering a new way of living – carless environments with kerbless access – in one of the most ambitious and innovative housing and employment developments the south coast of England has ever seen.

Visionary regeneration of this strategic site will build a new visual and economic gateway to the City creating thousands of new homes and turning water into new jobs.

Tipner West will bring £1b+ investment, More than 4,000 new homes, one million sq ft of marine employment and 2,250 metres of waterfront. 

Dunsbury Park

A new business gateway to the south 

Dunsbury Park is an award-winning business park next to junction 3 of the A3(M) on the London/Solent corridor.

Thousands of new jobs will be created at this unique, natural parkland site. Dunsbury is already home to the global headquarters of outdoor lifestyle clothing brand Fat Face, international logistics giant DPD and Volkswagen specialists Breeze Motor Group. The £140m+ project across 45 acres will deliver: units from 20,000 sq ft to 200,000 sq ft and planning permission for 665,000 sq ft of manufacturing, industrial, distribution and office space.


The whole site has been levelled and is served by a link road, superfast broadband and 9MVA power.

The business location of choice  

Portsmouth is in the top 10 cities in the UK for the percentage of the population with access to superfast broadband and will be a Gigabit city by 2021.

The local full fibre network will attract £50m of private and public sector investment starting with £3.8m of government funding.

Portsmouth offers a range of business centres, premises and locations across the City with space, facilities and working environments to suit all types of businesses.

Lakeside North Harbour 

The south coast’s premier business campus

Set in stunning 130-acre landscaped grounds; Portsmouth City Council acquired Lakeside in 2019 for £138m as part of one of the UK’s most ambitious local government funded property investment portfolios.

Lakeside is home to world-class brands and vibrant SMEs located in superb, flexible grade A office space. Conveniently located on J12 of the M27 Lakeside is home to 100 companies and 4,000 jobs on one campus with 100,000 sq m of grade A office space, offices available from 3,600 sq m to 36,000 sq m and planning permission for a further 69,000 sq m.


The City also boasts premier industrial, distribution and warehouse locations including:

Voyager Park with 46,500 sq m of modern employment space.

Merlin Park with new units from 850 sq m to 12,950 sq m and with planning permission for around 15,000 sq m of industrial, warehouse, office or research and development uses.

5 Interchange Park providing brand new industrial headquarters accommodation of 3,000 sq m on the market at only £10.50 per sq ft.

Portsmouth also offers excellent innovation and business incubation space across the City in first class centres ranging from the quirky Hot Walls Studios, Port 57 and Aspex Gallery through to the University of Portsmouth’s Innovation Space for university spin outs and the iconic Technopole, which is ideally suited to high growth tech businesses.

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