Basingstoke And Deane
Located 80km west of London, the borough of Basingstoke and Deane comprises a large urban centre surrounded by small villages and large areas of countryside. It covers an area of 635km2 and has a total population of 165,000 inhabitants. Basingstoke is an old market town that underwent rapid growth in the 60s when it started to house large numbers of London residents. The expanded town and its strategic location attracted a number of multinational companies that still have their headquarters there today. This contributed to the development of a strong and diverse local economy and the town is not reliant on any particular sectors for its employment.
Yet despite being an important centre, Basingstoke is facing increasing competition from other towns in the region. To remain competitive and ensure long-term sustainable growth, the town has to attract inward investment, promote entrepreneurship and retain its strong and diverse business base. It is involved in many economic recovery plans at local, sub-regional and regional level. It has a relatively low unemployment rate at 5%, but there are concerns about the mismatch between the skills in the workforce and those needed by existing and future employers. The town does not have its own university but is close to many good universities. It would like to embed a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in its citizens as this is seen as crucial to sustainable recovery.
Surrounded by the beautiful countryside of North Hampshire, Basingstoke combines all the facilities of a modern and lively town with the tranquillity of rural life. It is home to a concert hall, a large shopping centre and museums.