Set just over two hours from London with great transport links to reach the most areas of the UK, here’s why Bournemouth is number one destination for Business in the south coast of England.
Perfectly located for business in the south
From a business tourism perspective, most people think of anywhere west of Poole as part of the south west, and anywhere east of Christchurch is south east. Business travel is heavily focused on Bristol, with its dramatic urban landscapes, historical port and vibrant city life, and to the east, Brighton, quirky, cosmopolitan and more than living up to its reputation as London by the sea. Pretty much right in the middle, and offering a fresher, more relaxed feel, is Bournemouth. All three are thriving academic and business communities, innovative digital hubs generating the high tech, switched on businesses of tomorrow. Most people recognise Bristol and Brighton as bustling economies and popular targets for business and infrastructure investment. But over the past few years, a quiet revolution has been going on in one of the south’s most famous holiday resorts.
Spend a day or two in Bournemouth, and you’ll soon pick up the vibe that this is a place on the up. A thriving community, growing business district and a huge incubator of creative and high tech talent. Cranes are everywhere, as millions are pumped into new retail complexes, student accommodation, smart hotels and community regeneration projects.
In 2015-2016, business tourism generated more than £54 million for Bournemouth’s economy alone, with more than 118,000 attending business events. More than 400 cultural events generated £12.3 million from more than half a million in ticket sales. Bournemouth is well and truly on the UK’s business map. The conurbation, stretching from Poole to Christchurch gave, in 2011, a population of 446,628, making it the largest urban area in Britain with no part having city status.
Could the proposed merger of Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset local authorities see the region ranked equally with Bristol and Brighton as a major business centre and tourist revenue generator? If the plan goes ahead, it would become the eighth largest local authority in the country with almost 500,000 residents across South East Dorset. That’s almost as many as Cornwall’s entire population and just shy of 530,000 for Manchester.