Sector Support

The economy is divided into different business sectors and the businesses within them exist to provide goods or services. All businesses have inputs and outputs and must add value during production. Our team and fellow strategic partners have a wealth of knowledge in the following sectors.

Digital and Creative

The Solent Economy supports nearly 5,000 Creative Businesses employing around 20,000 with a further 20,000 creative jobs embedded in advanced engineering, marine, construction and IT amongst other sectors.

The Creative Sector includes Advertising, Architecture, Arts & Antiques, Crafts, Design, Designer Fashion, Video, Film and Photography, Music and the Visual & Performing Arts, Publishing, Software and Electronic Publishing, Digital Entertainment Media, Radio and TV.


The Solent is connected by sea, rail, road and air which means that distribution and logistics is a key driver in the local economy. The region is the chosen location for NATS (National Air Traffic Services), Associated British Ports (ABP), Meachers Global Logistics and Gist, all benefiting from the region’s excellent transport connections.

Visitor Economy

Hampshire is the most visited county in the South East. £2.50 billion is estimated to have been spent by day and staying visitors in Hampshire in 2012. The total value to the Hampshire economy, when including induced expenditure, was £3.08 billion in 2012. In 2012 63,600 individuals were employed in tourism in Hampshire, representing 8.9% of the county’s total employment. 5.2% of the Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Hampshire economy (£37.9 billion, in 2011) could be attributed to tourism (£2.0 billion, in 2011)

Social Enterprise

Social enterprises are businesses trading to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. The business must have a social impact set out in their governing documents and reinvest the majority of its profits in this social impact or the business itself. If you are considering starting a Social Enterprise or looking to grow an existing one, the following can help.

Manufacturing, innovation and Technology

Innovative and world-leading technologies are developed each day in the Solent region. The region is home to several centres of research excellence providing an unrivalled competitive edge to the companies affiliated with them. There are local, regional and national schemes that will help the growth of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering.

Space Sector

Satellite technologies play a vital role in a wide-range of industry sectors transforming businesses in areas as diverse as Healthcare, Media, Education, Construction, Environmental Resource Management, Tourism and Agriculture. Whatever your business or service, the chances are that satellite applications can help you to improve and grow.

Marine and Maritime

With a turnover of £19 billion pa, the UK has the largest marine sector in Europe. The Solent region generates over 10% of the UK marine sector’s GDP. The marine and maritime sector accounts for 20.5 per cent of the Solent’s economic output and provides 60,000 jobs locally, supporting over 3,000 businesses. By 2025 the sectors are expected to grow by five per cent.

Aerospace and Defence

The UK has the second largest aerospace industry in the world after the US, with over 3,000 companies employing about 230,000 people. It’s expected to grow at a rate of 6.8% over the next few years meaning opportunities for overseas investment. The Solent region has over 20% of the UK market share of this high-growth sector with a concentration of employment that is double the national average.

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