There is no better time to capitalise on this growing city
Rich in history and prospering in the arts and entertainment spheres, Southampton is seeking to redefine its economy and future on the basis of a green and sustainable framework, with the aim of becoming a beacon of modern British urbanity.
Located in the county of Hampshire, the city’s attractiveness is boosted by its rolling countryside and scenic coastline, offering its growing population inspiring local activities and an atypical warm climate.
With the addition of numerous regeneration schemes, Southampton’s future is predisposed for further prosperity, thus, here are 5 reasons why you should consider Southampton as the location for your next property investment:
1 - A Cultural Compass
Central to Southampton’s social and economic regeneration programme is Cultural Quarter - an eclectic mix of dramatic architecture and open spaces - envisaged to generate dynamism, vibrancy and a cultural heart to the city.
Arising from the understanding that cultural infrastructure is an important part of transforming people, places and communities, the scheme, when completed, is expected to generate 2,000 new jobs and £175 million of public and private investment – benefitting both residents and visitors.
Already home to historical landmarks, the area has recently seen the opening of a £15 million Seacity Museum, which celebrates the stories of the Southampton people and their connection with the Titanic and the sea.
Further complimenting the cultural ambience in the quarter has been the recent restoration of Guildhall Square, a contemporary and versatile space that has seen the addition of a new arts complex – Studio 144 – and new leisure and dining facilities.
Hosting world-class exhibitions, inspirational performances and creative events for people of all ages, Cultural Quarter helps attract more than one million visitors to the city a year, also proving to be an important educational resource for Southampton’s ample student population.
2 - A Buzzing Student Hive
Driven by the resounding reputation of its two major universities, Southampton University and Solent University, the city’s student population has expanded, with current numbers rising above the 30,000 mark.
Ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide and part of the prestigious Russell Group, the University of Southampton offers world-class teaching and research activities delivered across eight faculties.
Having made relevant contributions to the study of sustainable power and medical conditions, such as cancer, the university’s striking impact extends beyond academia and into the economic and business realms of Southampton and, more widely, the UK.
In 2012/13, Southampton University supported £2 billion GVA in the UK and more than 26,000 jobs. Of this proportion, £729 million and 11,700 jobs were created in Southampton only.
Comparatively, boasting a 160-year history, Southampton Solent University offers a number of higher degree apprenticeships, with a focus on preparing students to enter an increasingly global society.
Holding strengths in the maritime, creative industries and sports, Solent University has also undergone recent infrastructural changes, such as the completion of the Spark - a state-of-the-art teaching and learning space that often welcomes local businesses and community groups.
Vital to Southampton’s plans for the future is to retain the graduates of its major universities, particularly in the knowledge and creative sectors, as well as enticing innovative entrepreneurs - all with the aim of boosting the city’s thriving maritime heritage and expanding economy.
3 - The Cruise Capital of Northern Europe
Stimulated by its strong geographical position on the Solent – with an active harbour and double ties – Southampton thrived early in history as a centre of shipbuilding and marine engineering.
Eventually giving rise to new technologies and new industries, such as aviation, Southampton developed a culture of scientific inventiveness, which is still playing a role in the evolution of its economy and job market.
Nowadays, Southampton remains a key trading centre between the UK and international locations; and with four cruise terminals - it hosts the UK’s most prominent passenger harbour.
By welcoming the world’s largest cruise ship in 2017 and 2018 - the ‘Independence of the Seas’ - weighing over 160,000 tonnes and carrying 4,300 guests, Southampton Port is due to bring immense benefits to the local economy, with an estimated £50 million expected to be generated as a result.
Among the UK’s busiest and most significant harbours for trade in goods, from cars to fruit and vegetables, Southampton’s Port supports jobs for 12,000 people, acting as an integral contributor to the city’s rapid economic advancement.
4 - South Coast's Economic Powerhouse
Excelling in knowledge-intensive sectors such as aerospace, financial services, environmental technologies and marine intelligence, Southampton and the wider region has embarked on a path of sustainable economic growth.
The ambition, driven mostly by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), an organisation amalgamating the power of business communities, higher education sectors and local authorities, has already borne its fruits, with Southampton’s economy achieving £5.7 billion in value in 2016’s Q4.
This prosperity theme extends further into the future, as Solent’s LEP forecasts a Gross Value Added (GVA) growth of 2% by 2036 for the area it comprises (Southampton, Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, M27 corridor & Solent waterway).
The prospect of economic expansion is accompanied by an anticipated rise in productivity for the area, with the value of goods & services produced due to increase to £44 billion in the same period.
Southampton will also be included in the Solent Growth Deal – a plan to unlock over £400 million public and private sector investment across the area, generating 5,000 jobs and enabling 10,000 new homes to be built by 2021.
Home to 249,500 people, this maritime city is acknowledged to be the commercial, cultural and retail capital of the south coast. Its economy, therefore, along with its mild climate, plenitude of countryside and closeness to the sea, makes Southampton one of the best locations in the UK to live and work.
5 – An Attractive and Greener Place to Live
Beginning with an ambitious city centre ‘Master Plan’, Southampton’s competitive march against neighbouring areas have seen the city embark on numerous regeneration projects, focusing on enhancing every aspect of its residents’ lives.
Aside from offering greater choice of leisure and cultural attractions, with recent infrastructural changes to Cultural Quarter, Southampton also hopes to become a leading low carbon city in the UK – reducing the use of natural resources and embracing green architectural designs.
As the first city to factor a ‘Landscape Framework’ into its plans for the future, residents of Southampton will benefit from the creation of ‘green’ and ‘blue’ networks throughout the city.
Consisting of water channels that store rainwater in a feasible drainage system, ‘blue’ networks will not only offer a habitat for wildlife, but will also become an important aesthetic asset to the city – adding water features to Southampton’s streets and squares to help connect its centre to the sea.
Green networks, on the other hand, will see the installation of trees along central roads and the creation of pedestrian-friendly routes, parks and civic spaces.
The new routes, which will offer greater connectivity across Southampton’s city centre, are also crucial to the city’s agenda in becoming an example of sustainable urban travel and are expected to generate a commuter revolution - one that allows its residents to get to work without traffic hassles.
With escalating aesthetic attractiveness, growing economy and new cultural offerings, Southampton is set to remain a top location for students – making now an excellent time to capitalise on its bright prospects.
PrinvestUK is delighted to offer a rare opportunity to invest in this city’s growing student property market, with a purpose-built development located at the heart of the city and in close proximity to Solent University.
Take a look at our property listing for the St Mary’s Place to see how you can benefit from this city’s growing popularity.