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Following the city's ranking of third highest performing city in PwC's Good Growth Index, we look forward to what's in store for the city, and how Southampton is growing and developing.

22nd March 2021

As a university that is located in the heart of the city, we’re all too familiar with what makes Southampton great. Its history, maritime heritage, expertise in tech, creative start-ups and pool of leisure and retail facilities make it a top destination for all. Like the rest of the UK, Covid-19 has impacted upon Southampton, but we’re excited about the plans in place for the growth and development of our home city.

For the third year running Southampton has been ranked the third highest performing city as part of PWC’s Good Growth for Cities Index, with a recent briefing organised by Southampton Chamber of Commerce, highlighting how partners across the city, including Solent, are working to unlock Southampton’s future growth. As a work ready, world ready, future ready university, Solent’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Karen Stanton, joined panellists to explore what this means to Solent and the wider city.

Following the briefing, Professor Stanton commented: "Like communities across the world, Southampton has felt the impact of Covid, and there will be long term structural changes to the way we live, learn and spend our leisure time. While the challenges we face as a society can’t be understated, the city finds itself with a unique opportunity to bring together its civic, business and education communities to drive a sustainable recovery. Being ranked third in the Good Growth Index for the third year in a row is testament to the work being undertaken by partners across the city. I look forward to us building this momentum and grasping the opportunities available to us.”

Here are some of the things to celebrate about Southampton’s future:

City of Culture 2025 – Southampton is bidding for the prestigious title of UK City of Culture 2025. Home to creative communities and rich heritage, the bid provides a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and build upon what Southampton offers, growing its reputation as a global visitor destination. We’re proud to be an official partner of the bid, providing opportunities for our student, staff and local communities.

Solent Freeport – As part of the UK Government’s March 2021 budget the Solent region was announced as one of the areas that would be designated a freeport. Freeport status offers many opportunities for the region, including employment and skills development. Home to Warsash Maritime School, and with courses in maritime business, we’ll be working with partners to maximise the opportunities this offers.

Fawley Waterside – located on Southampton Water, Fawley Waterside provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a Venice of the Solent. This new residential and commercial community sits on the edge of the New Forest and the city with plans to create 2000 jobs in advanced manufacturing, marine and technology industries.

Southampton City Vision – Following the successful regeneration of West Quay South and exposure of the old city walls, we’re excited to see plans taking place for the revitalised Mayflower and Bargate Quarters. Already home to a fantastic mix of independent and chain retailers, galleries and other leisure facilities, these developments will blend Southampton’s heritage and future ambitions. Working with the City Council, through Southampton Connect, we’ll be taking a leading role in shaping the future of our home city.

Discover more about Solent’s role in working with working with businesses, communities and the education sectors.