The University of Portsmouth has proved to be of great relevance for the country and the region’s economy as a recent study concerning the Solent region universities and their economic impact reveals. The major study, made by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (short LEP) confirmed that a key component of the region’s economic strength are the three leading universities the University of Portsmouth, the Solent Southampton University and the University of Southampton through undertaking pioneering research and acting as centres for innovation. In fact, they pump over £4.2bn into the UK economy every year and support 52,300 jobs in the UK.
“The three Universities support one in 20 jobs in the Solent region”
More important is their contribution to the region, as they contribute about £2.1bn of economic value, and support 33,000 jobs in the Solent region. More specifically, every pound the universities produce from their own work sustains 6 pounds worth of UK economic activity, and half of that value is retained in the Solent LEP area. Another analysis made by Biggar Economics, an independent economic consultancy, showed that the three universities support one in 20 jobs in the Solent region, which is higher than the national average of 1 in 36 jobs. This furthermore highlights the world-leading university research occurring in the Solent region universities in engineering, biomedicine, aerospace, defence, marine, maritime and advanced manufacturing.
Gary Jeffries, Chairman of the Solent LEP said: “The Solent has many strategic assets that help make our region an economic gateway to the UK and the world. Our universities are a key part of this critical infrastructure and this report underlines the enormous contribution that they make not only to the Solent, but to the UK economy as a whole. The Solent LEP focuses a significant proportion of its strategic investment on key sectors such as the marine and maritime. The role that our universities play in helping the Solent region maintain its pre-eminent position in this area is integral and that is why the Solent LEP will continue to work in close partnership with them so that we can deliver the maximum economic return for the region.” He also added that they have invested over £51m in key projects within the Solent region that will drive economic growth and create skilled jobs that everyone living in the region can benefit from.
“As the fourth largest employer in Portsmouth, the University’s success is intimately connected to the city’s – and vice versa”
There is so much potential in the Solent region with its three universities, world-class ports and its position as a gateway to the world. Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth said: “Universities must demonstrate why we matter to our regions – and this is precisely what this study does. Not only are we engaged in world-leading research and in producing over 12,000 highly-skilled graduates each year – nearly 1 in 2 of which are STEM graduates – we also inject vital economic benefits to our region. The universities are vital contributors to the Solent and I am delighted that we play such a positive role.” Examples of the universities’ ‘knowledge assets’ include the University of Portsmouth’s Future Technology Centre, the cluster of tech firms around the University of Southampton’s Chilworth Science Park and Southampton Solent University’s Warsash Maritime Academy.
Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, added: “The three Solent universities are vital to the region’s economy. They employ nearly 10,000 people and have a combined turnover of £0.9bn, per annum. Our universities engage in world-leading research and attract students from all over the globe. Their success is central to the success of an outward-looking Solent economy post-Brexit. As the fourth largest employer in Portsmouth, the University’s success is intimately connected to the city’s – and vice versa.”