About Southern Policy Centre

The Southern Policy Centre (SPC) was established in 2014 as the only independent think tank and policy forum for central southern England.  We focus broadly on the region from Dorset to West Sussex and the Isle of Wight to Oxfordshire. We aim to offer ideas and encourage debate on how we can improve our economy, environment and communities.

SPC is a small organisation which operates as a not-for-profit enterprise. All our projects are funded by sponsorship. We are interested in a broad range of topics: recent projects have looked at social care, poverty, health, housing, economic development, the environment and higher education.

The region has had little public policy focus despite facing challenges distinct from both the metropolis and other English regions and our public spending per head is low though we face the triple costs of deprived urban areas, rurality and an ageing population.

Average incomes are above the national average but this can mask sharp inequalities and high living costs. Our population is growing with significant migration from other parts of the UK and abroad, but there is a real conflict between the need for housing and the sensitivity of the natural environment.

Economic development, though generally good, is uneven and constrained by shortages of skills, infrastructure and finance.

As the cross-party think tank responding to these distinct challenges and opportunities we specialise in:

  • Devolution policy
  • Innovative forms of public policy making
  • Open data research
  • Health and social care research
  • Education and skills policy

Above all, our work will always be rooted in practical policy making. We work with leaders in business, government at all levels and the third sector to make sure our research has real impact on central southern England.