Southampton has always been a place where great things can happen. Our innovative outlook, our maritime location, our university – have all helped Southampton grow into a city that has welcomes new ideas, different perspectives and fresh thinking. Now, there is a pace, energy and optimism about Southampton that is making a new wave of change possible.
Over the past five years, we have significantly boosted economic growth in the city. Southampton now has the highest GVA in the UK. Many organisations are investing here with great results; major developments are happening across the city and unemployment has been cut by around 50%. In 2017, we were ranked as the 3rd highest city in the UK for Good Growth.
Our city is recognised as the commercial, cultural and retail capital of the South Coast. But we believe that there is an opportunity to establish our reputation as a truly world-renowned location: a flagship for innovation, for sustainable growth, for partnership working and for healthy living. We already welcome more than 4 million visitors every year. 90% of UK cruise traffic enters our port. Our ability to attract visitors; to attract investment; to attract ambitious people who want to make an impact; means that the stage is very much set.
As we move forward and grow our reputation as a city, it is also going to be important to ensure that we make an impact beyond the city limits. Southampton is surrounded by great places to live and work, and the city can be the engine that carries the wider region forward.