Business in East Hampshire

The profile of business across East Hampshire - and the wider area of Hampshire - is diverse and is very well supported by local skills, research capability, good connectivity and distribution.

Hampshire's economy is worth some £38 billion, with key sectors including Marine, Aerospace & Defence, Financial & Business Services as well as Tourism. Agriculture accounts for a relatively small amount of employment nowadays but plays a wider environmental and food security role.

But 90% of businesses in East Hampshire employ less than 10 people, which is a picture repeated across the South East and much of the UK. In fact, small businesses account for 48% of the whole private sector in the UK.  

And we have some real gem SME's here - Alton-based games distributor Esdevium Games, award-winning Hattingley Valley Wines near Alresford, Lego building company Bright Bricks in Bordon, and innovative online company Feefo, based in Petersfield. And many, many more.

East Hampshire also has one of the lowest unemployment claimant rates in the country - a rate of approximately 0.7% of the economically active population aged 16-64 - so there is competition for talent and resources.

The new Enterprise Zone within the re-developed Whitehill & Bordon area is hugely exciting, offering first class facilities and support for new businesses as well as established high tech enterprises. The new housing, town centre and green space developments, will also ensure the area attracts the people to fulfill the needs of the businesses. 

So, the challenge remains to support the many businesses across the area, with the right resources they need to grow. The links on the left of this page provide a summary of some of the help currently available:


Below is a useful summary from on the key business sectors in Hampshire:


Employing more than 360,000 people and contributing £19 billion gross value added, the UK has the largest marine sector in Europe. The concentration of business units in the marine sector in Hampshire is three times the national average and the concentration of employment in the sector in Hampshire is close to five times the national average.

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 a concentration of employment that is double the national average, an outstanding cluster of world-class companies and some of the best research and development facilities globally.

Financial & Business Services

The sum of its proximity to London, lower office overheads than the capital and over 50,000 highly educated employees equals a thriving finance and professional services sector in Hampshire.

ICT & Digital

Some of the world’s most successful and influential ICT companies have chosen Hampshire as their base with a concentration of employment in this sector of 50% above the national average.

Distribution & Logistics

A county connected by sea, rail, road and air means that distribution and logistics is a key driver in Hampshire’s economy.


The recent Science and Innovation Audit has also indicated that the south of England is the 'backbone of UK's digital economy'. Details of the audit completed by the consortium Innovation South can be seen at: SCIENCE AND INNOVATION AUDIT

Damian Hinds




Attachment Size
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce presentation 20th October 2017 1.29 MB