Southampton in top six for international business links

Southampton is one of the best places in the UK to site a business with international aspirations, according to a report from a top business advisory group.

The UK Cities Report has been drawn-up by Cushman and Wakefield and puts Southampton in sixth position overall when it comes to international transport links.

The report noted that Southampton International Airport, with its close links to both rail and motorway networks, coupled with Southampton Container Port, was continuing to attract strong growth.

More than 190,000 people travelled through the airport during September, using the 14 airlines based at the airport and its 47 European destinations.

Notably, some of the most well-used destinations flown to from the airport include important business centres like Frankfurt and Dusseldorf in Germany, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam and Brussels.

Chris Butler, managing director at Southampton Airport, said: "This highlights that cities are increasingly in competition with each other to attract inward investment, and naturally and international airport plays a key role in this."

Southampton fell behind London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Bristol in terms of international transport links, it did beat Reading, Edinburgh, Newcastle upon Tyne, Liverpool, Belfast and Cardiff.

The report also considered the best cities in which to site a UK business overall, with Southampton making it into the top 15 for the first time ever at number 13.

That is ahead of south coast rivals Portsmouth and Bournemouth, with only London and Reading seen as a better place for the business secton in the region. Sally Lynsky, chief executive of Business Southampton, said: "There are 7,300 businesses in Southampton providing employment for 116,000 people. This is a region of strong economic growth, and international transport links play an important part in maintaining global competitiveness."

Kristine Salomon-Olsen, head of representation at Southampton Chamber of Commerce, added: "The fast track experience through Southampton Airport must be greatly appreciated by business travellers, which make up some 33 per cent of their passengers.

"Recent improvements to the airport, such as the Flybe executive lounge, the wifi zone and number plate recognition system for easy parking, along with the closest rail link in the UK, have also proved beneficial."

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