Business and Economy

Hampshire’s Business Sectors

Land-based industries

Hampshire is a green and pleasant land, primarily due to the impact of its agricultural and horticultural industries. With over 85% of the county being rural and at least 17,000 employees working in this sector it is the perfect environment in which land-based industries flourish and grow.


With a turnover of £37bn and employing more than a quarter of a million people, the UK has the largest marine sector in Europe. 40% of this sector lies within the South East of England and this is clustered primarily around the Solent Region, the internationally renowned centre of the UK marine industry located in the South of Hampshire.  

Advanced Engineering

Hampshire has a strong advanced engineering and manufacturing presence employing 18,000 people in a wide variety of sub-sectors demanding the world-class skills and expertise which the county’s workforce is able to deliver.  From innovative engineering investment projects to specialist sub-sector expertise, the engineering sector is one of the county’s highest value-added industries.

Aerospace & Defence

The UK’s aerospace and defence industry is the largest in Europe with more than 20% market share.  In Hampshire, it represents a high-growth sector with over 6,000 employees from a skilled workforce, a high concentration of world class companies and some of the UK’s best research and development facilities.

Science & Health Technologies

South East England has the highest concentration of health technologies companies anywhere in the world outside of the US, with approximately 1,000 companies employing more than 200,000 people, including associated services.

Hampshire is at the heart of this region and is home to several of the world’s global pharmaceutical companies.

ICT & Digital Media

As part of a region which is a leading European location for ICT it is no surprise that some of the world’s most successful and influential companies have chosen Hampshire as their base.  The diverse range ICT & Digital Media companies established in Hampshire employ around 18,000 people.

Finance & Business Services

The sum of its proximity to London, lower office overheads than the City and a 188,000 strong highly educated workforce supported by universities offering sector specific qualifications all equal a thriving finance and business service sector in Hampshire.

Transport & Logistics

Connected by sea, rail, road and air it is no surprise that transport and logistics are key drivers in Hampshire’s economy.  The Port of Southampton is one of the country’s busiest and most successful deep-water ports, with facilities to handle virtually any type of cargo and Portsmouth is Britain’s best connected ferry port.  In the airport and airline services sub-sector, BAA’s Southampton Airport and caters for some 800,000 passengers a year and TAG Farnborough Airport is the most modern and efficient private airport of its kind in Europe.

Environmental Technologies

The UK’s target to reduce C02 emissions by at least 80% by 2050 combined with new environmental laws and policies is set to increase the demand for environmental technologies, promising a beneficial environment in which the sector can grow.  Hampshire has strengths across a wide range of environmental technology sub-sectors including renewable energies, pollution control, environmental consultancy, recycling and waste management. The county has often set the precedent for the UK including its innovative approach to waste management through Project Integra.


Hampshire County Council is keen to ensure that the county has a thriving tourism industry, and visitors can enjoy both city excitement and country relaxation in an area world renowned for its heritage and culture. The Tourism section work closely with all local authorities in Hampshire and Tourism South East, the regional tourist board, to put Hampshire on the UK and international visitor map.