FACTS AND FIGURES
Located in the South of England by the sea, Portsmouth has a population of 205,100; and a population of almost 1.8 million in the county of Hampshire. The 15-29 age group has increased the most within the past 10 years, from 23.3% to 27.2% of Portsmouth’s population. The largest age-group decline is the 30-39 category, dropping 3.1% to 13.1%. In fact, Portsmouth is the most densely populated area in the UK outside of London, with 5,082 people for every square kilometre
In terms of employment, the aerospace and defence sector is rather popular in Portsmouth, employing four times the national average of people in this industry. The marine sector is also popular within Portsmouth; and has an equivalent statistic to neighbouring city Southampton. More broadly speaking, the professional services and knowledge economy are the largest sectors, employing 19% and 17% of Portsmouth’s working population respectively.
Southampton is the closest airport, located 20 miles away from Portsmouth city centre, and offers flights to the rest of the UK and Europe. If travelling to Portsmouth from further afield, then Heathrow is just a 70 minute drive away, Gatwick 75 minutes. These London airports are the two biggest and busiest in the UK, serving a combined number of 102 million passengers a year to countries in Europe, America, Asia and beyond.
Portsmouth has two train stations that are on the same line: Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth and Southsea (the main one). Although a relatively small station with only four platforms, serving approximately 2.4 million passengers each year, direct trains run to big cities in the South, including London in 95 minutes, Bristol in 150 minutes and Cardiff in 200 minutes. Delegates wishing to reach Portsmouth from the north of London will still find it convenient to reach Portsmouth by train, but will find they will have to change trains; and depending on how far north delegates are travelling from, flying may be a better option.
As small as it is, if based in the city centre then you’ll find you probably won’t need to use any public transport to get around, as Portsmouth can be easily covered by foot. Nevertheless, Portsmouth is served by two bus companies (Stagecoach and First Buses), which between them, offer fully comprehensive routes through the city and the county of Hampshire.
A popular seaside resort amongst tourists, it’s also a frequently used city for corporate events, with the sea offering something different to most of the UK. Such popularity is reflected by the number of venues on offer – 78 in total. Only 3 venues have a capacity of more than 500 delegates and 1 venue with more than 1,000; Portsmouth is perhaps the chosen destination for smaller parties; with the capital easily reachable for large parties. Nevertheless, the option is there for companies with a large number of delegates if they want it; with the Liquid and Envy nightclub able to hold 2,000 delegates on their dancefloor, which can be adapted to each company’s needs. What Portsmouth does do well is offer plenty of choice for companies with smaller parties – there are 30 venues in total that offer rooms exclusively for 30 delegates or less.
Popular with both tourists and delegates, Portsmouth offers 72 hotels altogether – a large number considering its small size. With 2 five star and 24 four star hotels; luxury is something the city does well. Nevertheless, you’ll find there is as equally as much choice for companies with smaller budgets, with 25 three star and 13 two star hotels in total.
LEISURE AND TOURISM
Portsmouth is the UK’s only island city, and whilst compact covering just 15.5 square miles, it still offers plenty of things to see and do. The many beaches in and around Portsmouth such as Southsea are of course, very popular; and although a dip in the sea is highly unlikely unless in the heat of summer, it’s still a nice part of Portsmouth to wander around. Portsmouth’s historic dockyard is home to many old ships; and is nearby to Gunwharf Quays, a complex offering 90 shops, a wide choice of bars and restaurants, a cinema, bowling alley and a nightclub!
Delegates with a little more time on their hands may want to take one of the many relaxing ferry trips to nearby island Isle of Wight, taking just twenty minutes; and if it really is a flying visit to the city, Spinnaker Tower is definitely the best way to see it – standing 170 metres high with views of 23 miles in any direction – literally!
The nightlife here is definitely worth experiencing too. Truly a student place, you’ll find plenty of clubs and pubs lining the streets of the city, enticing people in with cheap drinks. For a slightly more sophisticated evening, head to Gunwharf with well-known restaurants serving good quality food.
Images courtesy of Portsmouth City Council
- The Langstone Hotel is a stunningly individualistic hotel favourably situated on the South Coast between Portsmouth & Chichester on the northern shore of Hayling Island.
- This recently refurbished hotel features 103 executive bedrooms, an elegant restaurant & bar, 11 conference, meeting and purpose built training rooms with Plasma screens, DVD, VCR as standard.
- The Harbour Lights restaurant, lounge and bar menus reflect the use of the freshest of local ingredients prepared and presented with flair.
- The well-appointed conference and meeting rooms provide an excellent venue for conferences, training courses and other events.