The ideal location for advanced engineering in the aerospace, marine and technology sectors
Top 3 reasons to invest
Almost 60,000 people are employed in manufacturing in the region, with the international companies and supply chains to meet the needs of investors.
A strong offering in the marine sector, with shipping and marine financial services, boatbuilding and composite manufacturing activity in the area.
Up to 100,000 square metres of space available on plots with new infrastructure, where businesses can develop their own facilities.
The Solent area is renowned for its marine sector and is home to 1,750 marine-related businesses. This represents around 18% of the Solent economy, accounting for around 48,000 jobs and adding £14 billion to the local economy.
The Enterprise Zone occupies a stunning coastal location in southern England overlooking the Solent estuary. Central London and its two biggest airports are less than 2 hours away. The two major Solent cities are Portsmouth and Southampton, both of which have international universities.
There is an operational airfield in the Enterprise Zone which is suitable for small aircraft, including business jets. The nearby coastal cities also provide access to excellent recreational sailing, as well as international competition at Cowes.
The nearest port at Southampton is Britain’s 2nd largest deep sea container port and the largest cruise port in the UK, handling 450 calls by cruise liners in the last year. Portsmouth also has an extensive and thriving commercial port which acts as a major base for the Royal Navy.
Our areas of expertise
Advanced Materials/Composites, Electrical and process engineering, Manufacturing technology & equipment, Marine, Mechanical, Sustainable manufacturing
Advanced Manufacturing / Engineering
Airframe & fixed wings, Autonomous systems & rotary wings, Engine systems, Equipment, MRO, Space systems & equipment
Solent Local Enterprise Partnership has established a £2.9 million expansion fund. Foreign companies looking for inward investment opportunities are eligible to access this fund if they are creating new employment opportunities within the Enterprise Zone.
Research & technical connections
The Enterprise Zone has forged strong links with 3 local universities:
- The University of Southampton, which specialises in marine research, photonics, high performance computing and nanotechnology;
- The University of Portsmouth’s world-class Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science;
- Southampton Solent University, which runs the world’s leading training provider in the maritime arena.
A new Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Skills Training will be opened on the Enterprise Zone in 2014. Plans are also proceeding at pace to create a linked business innovation/incubation centre which will support micro-businesses and start-ups, working in harmony with the new training centre.
The local skills base
The Solent area offers a skills base with a strong engineering emphasis, unique to the south of England and London. The workforce has a range of transferrable skills, particularly in the defence sector, which can be applied to other areas.
A survey of the Solent skills base published recently by the University of Exeter concluded that “there is a clear concentration of employment in aerospace/aviation and boatbuilding, which accounts for 14% of all manufacturing jobs in the area”. This is around 8,000 jobs in total, and more than double the concentration for England as a whole.
Major employers in our area
- BAE Maritime Services and Naval Ships
- Eaton Aerospace
- Vector Aerospace
- GE Aviation
The Solent area is home to the Port of Southampton (the busiest cruise terminal and 2nd largest container port in the UK) and Portsmouth Harbour, a major commercial ferry port and area for leisure sailing.
Southampton Airport is located 22 kilometres from Fareham and offers flights to 50 European destinations. Heathrow is located 106 kilometres from Southampton.
Road connections are available via:
M27 motorway - connecting Portsmouth to Southampton
M3 motorway - connecting Southampton to London
From Fareham approximate journey times are:
1 hour 40 minutes to London
2 hours 50 minutes to Birmingham
20 minutes to Southampton