Bournemouth – Where Economic Vibrancy meets Coastal Charm

Bournemouth - where economic vibrancy meets coastal charm - Bridgehead

Nestled along the stunning South coast of England, Bournemouth is not just a quaint spa town; it’s a thriving hub of opportunity. From its extensive coastline to its diverse economic landscape, Bournemouth beckons as a promising destination for UK expansion.

Economic Vibrancy

With a combined population of 401,898 (as of 2022), Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole form a bustling economic centre. Bournemouth’s economy is on an upward trajectory, experiencing a notable 0.7% growth in the final quarter of 2023.

Diverse sectors fuel Bournemouth’s economic engine, including marine, advanced engineering and manufacturing, agritech & aquaculture, defence and security, digital and creative, and financial services.

At the heart of this economic dynamism lies the Aviation Business Park, spanning 200 acres and hosting over 200 businesses. This park plays a pivotal role in supporting the aerospace and advanced engineering industries. Moreover, the service sector, employing 72,900 individuals as of 2012, significantly contributes to Bournemouth’s economic vitality.

Tourism also plays a significant role, with a workforce of 23,200 catering to the needs of approximately 3.5 million visitors during the summer months alone.

Strategic Infrastructure Investment

Investments in strategic infrastructure underscore Bournemouth’s commitment to sustained growth. The approval of a substantial Local Transport Plan investment in 2021/22 aims to streamline logistics and foster greater business expansion.

Bournemouth boasts an international airport, essential as a national and international gateway to Southern England. Additionally, seaports and a London rail link enhance connectivity and facilitate commerce.

Notable infrastructure projects include the full revamp of the Bournemouth Spur Road (A338). This initiative aims to improve access to development land at Aviation Park, potentially accommodating up to 10,000 new jobs.

Nearly £20 million of the Levelling Up fund has been earmarked to restore Bournemouth’s pier, a major tourist attraction built in the 1800s. The funding will also support a variety of works to decaying and derelict facilities across West Cliff, Boscombe and Hamworthy. [1]

Education and Innovation

Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth are the main higher education institutions in the city. Bournemouth University is ranked as one of the top 70 young universities in the world.

Moreover, the city capitalises on a booming digital sector, fueled by a new wave of graduates. With the gaming and digital industry witnessing a nearly 70% growth in recent years, Bournemouth boasts around 14,000 employees, contributing approximately £350 million to the economy.

Championing Sustainability

Acknowledging the urgency of climate change, Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole (BCP) Council declared a climate and ecological emergency in 2019. Committed to carbon neutrality by 2030, the council advocates for a Green Knowledge Economy, promoting innovation in green industries while preserving the environment.

Innovation Hub for Entrepreneurs

Recognised as one of the best places outside London to start a business, Bournemouth fosters entrepreneurship with a remarkable 95.8% increase in startups between 2018 and 2019. The city’s 5-year survival rate of 45.65% further cements its status as a conducive business environment.[2]

Support for Local Businesses

Dorset LEPDorset local enterprise partnership helps businesses throughout the county to find the right advice, support, and funding to prosper. Startups and inward investors can benefit from their growth programmes, resources, and support.

Dorset Business Mentors – links accomplished business leaders as mentors to businesses, charities and social enterprises in Dorset. They have a unique pool of over 130 high-quality executives and business leaders across the county who are dedicated to helping your business thrive.

Dorset Growth Hub – DGH helps local businesses by delivering expert knowledge through their team of growth consultants. They offer businesses support through events, 1 to 1 advice and online learning tools.

Dorset Chamber of Commerce – the Chamber is committed to supporting businesses in all sectors and sizes throughout Dorset. 

Success Stories

The Richmond Group was formed in 1999 with £100 capital at a kitchen table in Bournemouth. They invest in fast growing Edtech, Fintech and Proptech startups with a vision to reinvent how we learn, live and work.

Lush Cosmetics –  is a cosmetics retailer which is headquartered in Poole, Dorset. It was founded in 1995 by trichologist Mark Constantine, his wife Mo Constantine and five other founders. Lush claim to use only vegetarian recipes, 95% of which are vegan.

Hobbycraft – founded in 1995, Hobbycraft, headquartered in Christchurch, has grown to a nationwide business, it’s the largest arts and crafts retailer in the UK. They sell art, knitting and crochet, haberdashery, papercraft, wedding and party, baking, jewellery making and more. 

Why choose Bournemouth?

With a thriving economy, strategic infrastructure investments, a vibrant educational sector, a commitment to sustainability, and a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem, Bournemouth stands as an enticing choice for business expansion outside London. Whether in marine sectors, advanced engineering, digital innovation, or creative industries, Bournemouth offers boundless opportunities for growth and success.

References:
[1]  https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/199-million-to-restore-and-improve-seafront-facilities-in-bournemouth-and-poole-levelling-up-fund-2

[2] https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/19364315.bournemouth-named-top-place-start-business/