Economy and Infrastructure

21.08.17

It’s all part of the master plan

Source: PSE Aug/Sept 2017

Dawn Baxendale, chief executive of Southampton City Council, talks about the city’s ambitions and the importance of its Master Plan, which has given investors greater confidence to commit their money to the area.

We have ambitious plans for our city. Along with our partners we have delivered almost £2bn worth of development over the last five years, and we have our eyes on at least £1bn more.

Southampton’s reputation for delivering large-scale investment projects continues to grow, and the council continues to look to work with like-minded investors, developers and occupiers who want to join our success.

Back in 2012, when Southampton launched its Master Plan, it’s true to say there was a real desire to turn the theory into reality. Hundreds of potential investors and developers from across the UK gathered at Southampton Football Club to find out more about our ambitious plans for the city that forecast up to 24,000 new jobs and £3bn investment over the next 20 years.

The aim of the Master Plan is to create a city centre that enhances Southampton’s appeal as a great place to do business, visit and live. It was designed to give businesses and investors the confidence that Southampton’s ambition was matched by a clear vision and ability to deliver.

Walking around the city today, just five years on, evidence of that clear vision is there for all to see. 

Westquay, Studio 144, Southampton Solent University’s new Spark building, Bow Square – the city already looks a different place. More major schemes than any time since the post-war years are underway or have been completed.

The ‘Very Important Projects’ (VIPs) identified for redevelopment are now becoming part of Southampton’s new landscape and contributing to the creation of a vibrant and energetic city centre.

If you look at the VIP projects that we set out in the Master Plan all of them are either completed, under construction or in the development pipeline. Having the Master Plan in place has given investors the confidence to commit their money into the future of the city. 

Investors are now attracted to Southampton – they know if they come to speak to us things are going to happen.

Improving the public realm has undoubtedly changed how people feel about walking around the city. There have been major improvements to the built environment running from north to south and east to west of the city centre.

We have invested in infrastructure and the QE2 mile, Guildhall Square, Station Quarter North and Kingsbridge Lane are great examples of this. 

But this isn’t all about new buildings and development – it is about the jobs they bring, and the people who want to work, live and enjoy their lives.

We have just 1.5% unemployment in the city – our groundbreaking approach to supporting our residents into work and new careers ensures businesses are gaining great employees.

I feel immensely proud of what we have achieved in Southampton and it’s been a real team effort, with the council, its partners and the community we serve all working together.

Very clearly the city has been regarded as somewhere that has fundamentally changed the way it is operating. We have interest from both across the UK and internationally about how we have changed the economic development opportunities in Southampton.

Specifically, people want to know how we have promoted the city, how we have used our regulatory functions and communicated the success, but particularly how we have worked with the private sector to change the face of the city.

The British Property Federation has been to Southampton with a raft of people to find out what we have done and is using us a case study to inform government policy.

There is a whole range of ingredients that make Southampton great. We are in a great location, next to the famous waters of the Solent and close to the New Forest National Park. We have fantastic heritage and have invested heavily in our cultural offer over the last few years.

There is a fantastic leisure and entertainment offer that both the council and the private sector have invested in.

We are committed to being a city that delivers a rich quality of life for the people who live and work here.

To investors, developers and business coming to Southampton, the message is very simple: this is a city where you can do business. We have the workforce, we have the facilities, the cultural background and accommodation. You can make your business grow here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

20/11/2017Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

Central government funding per resident in county authorities was almost 50% below large cities last year, with councils saying the situation cou... more >
Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

20/11/2017Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

The government has today announced that it will release £1.7bn of extra funding for cities ahead of Wednesday’s Budget. Prime mi... more >
Counties and districts clash over suggestion to scrap two-tier authorities

20/11/2017Counties and districts clash over suggestion to scrap two-tier authorities

A report suggesting that scrapping district councils could save £2.9bn a year has prompted anger from the District Councils Network (DCN). ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

20/11/2017Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

Central government funding per resident in county authorities was almost 50% below large cities last year, with councils saying the situation could quickly deteriorate, new research released toda... more >
Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

20/11/2017Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

The government has today announced that it will release £1.7bn of extra funding for cities ahead of Wednesday’s Budget. Prime minister Theresa May made the announcement, which in... more >

the raven's daily blog

Visual.ONS: How to compete with the big data aggregators

13/11/2017Visual.ONS: How to compete with the big data aggregators

Advertisement feature Christopher Gallagher, territory manager at SAS, explains how big data can be used by the public sector to find innovative solutions to common problems.  I have been really impressed by the work of Visual.ONS – the team at the Office for National Statistics, who are responsible for exploring imaginati... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Driving forward a healthier Scotland

10/11/2017Driving forward a healthier Scotland

Dundee City Council is leading the way in boosting electric vehicle (EV) uptake in Scotland, writes Rebecca Wallace from the local authority&rsqu... more >
A smarter approach to digital transformation

10/11/2017A smarter approach to digital transformation

Catherine Bright, Smarter Digital Services (SDS) manager, explains how a partnership of 12 councils across Kent and Surrey are jointly funding a ... more >
Delivering on estates

10/11/2017Delivering on estates

Sam Ulyatt, strategic category commercial director at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), on how a new framework can help public sector organisat... more >
Open for business

10/11/2017Open for business

Clare Moore, senior specialist of valuation and disposals at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), explains how public sector bodies looking to... more >

interviews

‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Business, tells PSE’s Luana Salles that health and social care orga... more >
HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

26/06/2017HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

Mark Hall, Chief Assurance Officer at Redcentric, discusses NHS Digital’s project, the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) and what b... more >
Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

25/04/2017Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

Ahead of this year’s mayoral elections, Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, tells PSE’s David Stevenson why the argu... more >
New social care funding misses the point

13/04/2017New social care funding misses the point

Clive Betts MP, chair of the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee, reflects on the social care funding released in this year’s ... more >

public sector focus

View all News