John Denham, Speaker at Realizing the Potential of the Wider South East technical symposium organised by L&WSE Strategic Planning Network.

The symposium aims to facilitate a conversation between strategic thinkers on opportunities for collective research and collaboration, in particular the scope for adopting a wider and longer-term perspective and by joining up current sub-regional economic, planning and infrastructure initiatives.

For more information and to watch the video of the event click here.

Realising the Economic Potential of the Wider South East

Southern Policy Centre’s director, John Denham spoke in a seminar on October 25th 2019 about exploring the economic potential of the the wider South East.

The event was organised and run by the London & Wider South East strategic planning network and Arup. It as supported by the Southern Policy Centre, Centre for London, and Design South East. Read the key messages below:


Realising the economic potential of the wider South East – technical symposium

John Denham, SPC Director, is speaking to a seminar exploring the economic potential of the the wider South East. The event takes place in London on 25 October, and is organised by Arup.

The combined economies of the former South East and East regions represent over 20% of the nation’s GVA. They also contain eight of its highest performing towns. Yet these areas are often perceived as the commuting hinterlands of London, rather than economic engines in their own right. Sub-regional economic, planning and transport initiatives are making a positive return in several parts of the Wider South East.

Professor Denham will talk about the central South and its relationship to London. To find out more about the event and register your interest go to


Is there a strategy for the central South? Conference to launch SPC’s research report

On 20 September SPC will introduce their research on whether the variety of plans and strategies published by councils and LEPs across the central South together present a clear narrative about our ambitions for the future. Evidence from across England suggests that those areas which consistently tell a clear, simple story about their shared ambitions and priorities win additional support from Government, and have a more powerful voice in securing public and private investment.

The Conference, to be held at Careys Manor Hotel in Brockenhurst, will hear our conclusions from research first discussed at a series of seminars earlier this year. We’ll also hear responses from councils, LEPs, universities and other key organisations from across the central South. A briefing paper which gives more details about our research can be downloaded here.

To find out more about the Conference e-mail

Help us to move on!

Our report for the Blagrave Trust outlining practical policy recommendations to address some of the issues facing young people in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton can be read below.

Hope4Housing Film: This is a short film made by young people in Hampshire which sets out some of the issues facing them in housing, and how they would like to see local politicians and policy-makers start to address them.

Upcoming Event: Help us to move on!

Practical policy solutions from Hampshire’s young people.

In July 2018 the Southern Policy Centre was commissioned by the Blagrave Trust to develop a policy advocacy strategy for young people aged 16-25 in Hampshire. Over the last 8 months we have been listening to young people and researching alongside them to understand the challenges that affect them the most during transition from childhood to adulthood, and to develop potential solutions to these. The primary concerns raised were housing, education, training and employment. The work has been led by Professor John Denham, former government minister and founding director of the SPC.

The launch event will see the young people themselves present the findings from our work together and set out a strategy to start to address the issues raised. There will be an opportunity to discuss the strategy in groups and provide feedback.

Event Details

The launch will be held on Wednesday 3rd April 2019 Southampton FC’s St Mary’s Stadium, starting registration & refreshments at 10.15am. There will be buffet lunch served at the conclusion of the event which will finish by 1pm, please advise if you wish to stay for lunch

Click here to book your free spot now!

Living Well: Health and wellbeing for a better quality of life

In conjunction with the University of Winchester and supported by Paris Smith and Energise Me, we are delivering a seminar to explore how we can all live well.

The rise of new ‘health’ trends communicated via media platforms has called into question what living well really means.

Chaired by the University’s Chancellor Alan Tichmarsch, this event is the third of a series of debates on linked and topical issues.

Speakers of the seminar include Professor Shireen Kassam, Consultant Haematologist at Kings College Hospital and Visiting Professor at the University of Winchester on the importance of diet, Dr William Bird MBE, GP and founder of Intelligent Health, on the importance of physical activity and Kevin Gardner, CEO and Abby Oakley from Solent Mind on achieving mental wellbeing.

Book your free seats by clicking here.

Beyond Brexit: the future of the British economy – free event Mon 11th Feb 11.30am

With only weeks to the 29th March deadline, and amid much uncertainty, this is the crucial time to look beyond the short-term decisions on Brexit to the challenges shaping future of the British economy, whatever our final relationship with the EU and the rest of the world.

This is an invitation to hear Dame Kate Barker, University of Cambridge, (former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, member of the independent Industrial Strategy Commission, and advisor to both the previous Labour and current Conservative governments) speak on the British economy beyond Brexit. Kate will be joined by Larry Elliott (Economics Director at the Guardian) and other academic speakers including Professor John Denham of the SPC.

The Southern Policy Centre is delighted to be supporting this event run in conjunction with the Department of Politics and Society and the Centre for English Identity and Politics, both of the University of Winchester. Date and time: Monday 11th February, 11:30 to 14:30pm

Tickets are free, but need to be reserved via the following link:

LEPs and the central South – join us for our seminar with PwC

Since their establishment in 2010, Local Enterprise Partnerships have been integral to economic growth across England. In July this year the Government sought to strengthen their role, making proposals designed to ensure they are fit for purpose. Join us for our free seminar, organised in conjunction with PwC, which offers an opportunity to learn how our local LEPs see their future role and discuss how they can help fulfil the needs of the Central South of England.

Date: Monday December 3rd. 8.30am – 10.30am

Venue: PwC, 3 Ocean Way, Southampton. SO14 3TJ

The full event flyer can be seen here: SPC:PWC LEP seminar flyer