Portsmouth City Council

About Portsmouth

We are a city of energy and creativity, confident in our unique identity and with an ambitious vision for the future.

Hampshire's second largest city, Portsmouth is situated on the south coast of England and is the UK's only island city. We are well connected, being situated just 64 miles south west from London and 19 miles south east from Southampton. With a thriving commercial ferryport serving destinations on the continent for freight and passenger traffic, there is easy access to France and Spain.

The city has a rich cultural offer with the pomp and ceremony of our proud naval and maritime heritage, magnificent theatres, live music venues, contemporary art galleries, two cathedrals, a diverse literary heritage, galleries, nightclubs, events and festivals throughout the year.

Portsmouth's rich history has shaped the city. Our waterfront city ranges from the Victorian seaside splendour of Southsea to the presence of the Royal Navy, and the dockyard which has long shaped the city's economy and image, acting as a catalyst to create a network of defence and related industries, as well as a naval heritage based tourist industry.

As a significant naval port for centuries, the world's oldest dry dock is still in use and is home to some famous ships, including the HMS Warrior and Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory. Although smaller than in its heyday, the naval base remains a major dockyard and base for the Royal Navy and Royal Marine Commandos whose Headquarters resides there.

There is also a modern and dynamic side to the waterfront. Four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie has chosen Portsmouth as the base for his bid to bring the America's Cup home to Britain. This decision will have a major impact on business growth, skills and the perception of the city on the world stage.

Our city is home to over 6,000 businesses including leading edge companies such as EADS Astrium, IBM UK, Pall Europe and BAE Systems - to name a few. In addition, modern developments on the waterfront have added to the visitors experience and brought shopping, eating and entertainment to the water's edge. The city is also home to a thriving University and FE sector.

The Emirates Spinnaker Tower is a striking landmark in the city's skyline. It can be found in the redeveloped former HMS Vernon , an area of retail outlets, restaurants, clubs and bars now known as Gunwharf Quays .

Portsmouth City Council's administrative area has a population of more than 200,000 and is one of the most densely populated areas in the country. However the city shouldn't be considered in isolation as it is an important part of a wider economic area, providing employment and leisure opportunities for an area stretching from the outskirts of Southampton to Havant on the M27/A27 road along the coast, and north to Clanfield on the A3 road.