The UKs Global Gateway’s Inaugural visit to UKREiiF

With three large waterfront communities, two National Parks, and Historic England’s first capital (Winchester – a city that is often dubbed one of the most desirable places to live in the UK), the Central South has an abundance of positives to offer, along with excellent transport links to London and the rest of the UK.

As the gateway to the world’s fifth largest economy, the Central South is strategically placed when it comes to offering the perfect location to establish a business and invest for the future.

From stunning coastal settings to ancient woodlands and an A to Z of heritage sites that many regions would covet, we quite simply have it all! Our universities are centres of innovation and worldclass research including the Russell Group University of Southampton, producing the talent that will help our region to prosper.

The Solent Freeport provides us with the opportunity for the region to build on its existing strengths, with further job creation and investment opportunities for employers to come to the region and experience all it has to offer.

Come and hear all about the opportunities to flourish in the Central South when our speakers take to the Rethinking Places stage on the opening day of UKREiiF on Tuesday May 21st at 09:30

Aerial view of the sail-shaped Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth Harbor in the south of England on the Channel coast – Gunwharf Quays modern shopping mall in a residential waterfront area

Our Region in Stats

The Central South is home to 2.7m people and is located on the south coast of the UK, less than one hour from London.

3 International Airports and 3 International shipping ports.

Two major motorways connecting the Central South.

A staggering 2 million + cruise passengers passed through the city of Southampton in 2023.

In 2022 the port of Southampton handled over 30 million tonnes of cargo – the UK’s 5th largest for tonnage.

Central South is home to 6 Universities, and over 75,000 students. 

Our Central South UK Cities and Towns

The New Forest National Park is made up of vast tracts of unspoiled woodland, heathland and river valleys with deer, ponies and cattle roaming free.

Isle of Wight is the largest island in England. Location of the Isle of Wight Festival and Cowes Week and home to wind turbine manufacturer Vestas.

Chichester Roman Cathedral City is located at the foot of the South Downs National Park.

South Downs National Park The county town of Hampshire and the historic capital of England. Visitor attractions include the Great Hall and Winchester Cathedral.

Portsmouth home of the Royal Navy, a historic and proud maritime city, Portsmouth has been named as the UK’s second coolest city to live according to Nomads Nation (2023). 11.4 million visitors a year and on course to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Southampton Major commercial centre for the Central South with a strong maritime heritage, international port and strong cultural heritage. 3rd highest-ranking city for good growth in the UK.

Basingstoke Home to global brands like Sony, Barclays, De La Rue and Virgin Media and more than 6,000 businesses.

Andover One of the most sought-after logistics locations in the UK.

Salisbury A Cathedral city of ageless beauty and captivating history, Salisbury has been welcoming travellers since 1227.

Farnborough Aerospace cluster and heritage – major companies include BAE Systems, Airbus, QinetiQ and Fluor. Home to the most modern and efficient business aviation airport in Europe.

Solent Freeport

Solent Freeport is one of the UK’s first wave of Freeports. Freeports are an important part of the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery, and the Solent Freeport will unlock billions of pounds’ worth of investment, create tens of thousands of new jobs and level up the coastal communities.

In the coming months, the programme will be gearing up to get infrastructure designed, sites developed and programmes to support business and growth approved. With an unprecedented partnership of Local Authorities, site owners, businesses, universities and colleges, and Central Government and a unique offer as the UK’s global gateway, the Solent Freeport is poised to make that once-in-a-generation leap to improve growth, jobs and prosperity For more information visit

A Region of Opportunity 

Powered by Ordnance Survey, the region’s many investment opportunities and key development sites are highlighted in this investment map.

Want to know more about our great location? You can read more at these links:

Talking Central South Website

Prosper, the regions investment opportunity publication – Issue 5

Central South Video

View the investment map here: Central South | Business Regions | Interactive Map