Southampton’s dominant sectors are:

Marine Sector

Southampton sits at the heart of the Solent area that is acknowledged to be the UK’s largest cluster of marine and maritime businesses. The sector extends from businesses engaged in the winning of aggregates from the sea to the manufacture of high technology ocean-going racing yachts and hovercraft. The sector is underpinned by world class research and teaching at the University of Southampton, Southampton Solent University, the National Oceanography Centre, and Lloyds Register Global Technology Centre and statutory bodies such as the Marine and Coastguard Agency and Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Major businesses represented locally include: Associated British Ports, DP World, Lloyds Register, Carnival UK, Griffon Hoverwork, Southampton Yacht Services, Green Marine and BMT Nigel Gee.

Retail and Wholesale Distribution and Hospitality

Southampton City Centre is the regional shopping centre serving England’s central south coast. Its major asset is the WestQuay Shopping Centre that attracts in excess of 18 million visitors every year. An addition to WestQuay known as Watermark is currently under construction. Key retailers include John Lewis Partnership, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, IKEA, Apple and a host of well known clothing retailers including Hollister, Gap, Next, Fat Face and Phase Eight. The global HQ of B & Q is on the outskirts of the city.

Southampton hotels thrive as a result of the success of the number of cruise passengers passing through the city, the scale of the local population and economy, and the number of visitors to the city for conferences and events including the annual Southampton Boat Show and Seawork. A five star Harbour Hotel is under construction at Ocean Village, Moxy are planning to start work shortly on a new city centre hotel, and Premier Inn has acquired a site for the development of a third city centre hotel operating under their brand. These will join the recently opened Hilton at the Ageas Bowl that is used for international cricket matches.

In Southampton and Eastleigh the sector employs almost 50,000 people in 2200 businesses.

Business, Professional and Financial Services

As the business centre of the central south coast Southampton is home to major business, professional and financial services companies. Approximately 4,000 businesses employing 44,000 people in this category are to be found in Southampton City Centre and in business and office parks along the M27/M3 corridor. These include:

· Accountants and legal practices that serve a regional market – including PWC, Grant Thornton, KPMG, Smith and Williamson. Baker Tilley, Blake Morgan and Paris Smith

· Banking and Insurance Businesses – such as Old Mutual Wealth and Ageas and major representation from banks like Natwest, RBS and HBC

Higher and Further Education

More than 43,000 students attend Southampton’s higher and further education institutions. The research and teaching to be found here is making a major contribution worldwide in areas such as exploration of the oceans, the internet of things, respiratory problems, cancer immunology, noise attenuation in aircraft and trains.