Our district spans 240 square miles of central Hampshire - a well-connected hive of social and economic activity in one of England’s largest and most attractive counties.
Under one hour from London Waterloo by train and approximately half an hour's drive time from both Portsmouth and Southampton, Winchester is well placed geographically and benefits from a well-qualified workforce, great quality of life and a diverse economic catchment from Hampshire and neighbouring counties.
The medieval cathedral city offers a thriving business, governance and retail hub, whilst a blend of heritage, cultural events and our status as an official gateway to the South Downs National Park combine to create a powerful draw for visitors. Civic pride is also a strong local motif - the Office of Mayor of Winchester is one of the oldest mayoralties in England, dating back to the period when the City was the national capital. The picturesque villages and market towns such as Alresford, Bishop’s Waltham, Wickham and Denmead possess strong individual identities and proud communities.
City and rural areas enjoy a symbiotic relationship of supply and demand. Whilst retail hotspots such as the city centre and Whiteley perform strongly, the city is also known for its knowledge-based, public sector and creative businesses. The district’s robust rural industry base combines key sectors such as farming, the supply and manufacture of local produce. Winchester’s high quality food and drink offer is building an international reputation with stand-out local enterprises and household name chefs making headlines.
Where we are today
Today almost 124,000 Wintonians live in the district, 52,000 in the city. Add on over 5 million visitors every year and 3 million commuters and we have a busy city! Many of the residents take an active interest in shaping the future of the district and celebrating the area’s appeal. The Council sees its role as defining a sense of place, safeguarding the economic, cultural and environmental future of this area, all delivered through the lens of tackling climate change.