About Southern Policy Centre

About Southern Policy Centre

The Southern Policy Centre (SPC) was established in 2014. It is the only independent think tank and policy forum for the central South. Our focus is on Hampshire, the cities of Southampton, Portsmouth, and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) and the Isle of Wight but often extends to include Dorset, West Sussex, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

The central South has distinct challenges and opportunities. Areas of genuine wealth sit close to some of the poorest communities in England. World leading industries and higher education are accompanied by areas of low skills and low productivity. Regional growth needs to respect the sensitivities of our countryside, coastal areas and marine environment which are themselves, rich regional assets. It is not part of London but the relationship with it shapes large parts of the region.

The Southern Policy Centre offers a non-partisan and neutral space for challenging debate, driven by the belief that the central South has yet to fulfil its full potential either for the people who live here or for our contribution to England and the UK.  

Our work is characterised by:

  • Research and policy analysis
  • Engagement with senior leaders across the private and public sectors
  • Innovative approaches to public participation and consultation
  • Data-informed policy making
  • A consistent focus on practical policy making
  • Partnering with universities, voluntary organisations and other think tanks

Key themes have included:

  • Regional economic strategy and devolution
  • Levelling Up
  • Poverty, disadvantage, and youth aspirations
  • Opportunities for growth in city centres, housing, life sciences and the creative industries
  • Sustainable growth, net zero, and biodiversity
  • Community health and wellbeing

The SPC works as a not-for-profit organisation and our projects have been funded by local authorities, government agencies, the private sector, NHS organisations, and charitable trusts.