🏴 Bournemouth is a coastal resort town on the south coast of England. With Poole to the west and Christchurch in the east, Bournemouth is part of the South East Dorset conurbation.
Before it was founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, the area was a deserted heathland occasionally visited by fishermen and smugglers. Initially marketed as a health resort, the town received a boost when it appeared in Augustus Granville's 1841 book, The Spas of England. Bournemouth's growth accelerated with the arrival of the railway, and it became a town in 1870. Part of the historic county of Hampshire, Bournemouth joined Dorset for administrative purposes following the reorganisation of local government in 1974. Through local government changes in 1997, the town began to be administered by a unitary authority independent of Dorset County Council, although it remains part of that ceremonial county. Since April 2019 the unitary authority has been merged with that of Poole, as well as the non-metropolitan district of Christchurch to create the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole unitary authority.
The town centre has notable Victorian architecture and the 202-foot (62 m) spire of St Peter's Church, one of three Grade I listed churches in the borough, is a local landmark. Bournemouth's location has made it a popular destination for tourists, attracting over five million visitors annually with its beaches and popular nightlife. The town is also a regional centre of business, home of the Bournemouth International Centre or BIC, and a financial sector that is worth more than £1 billion in gross value added.
Economy Similarly to the rest of Dorset, Bournemouth's economy is primarily in the service sector, which employed 95% of the workforce in 2010. Of particular importance are the financial and public service sectors which through 2011 continued to show sustained growth. Compared to the rest of the country, Bournemouth performed well in these two areas.
The smallest geographical region for which gross value added information is available is the NUTS3 area, Bournemouth and Poole. The latest figures, are for the year 2009 which showed that the Bournemouth and Poole area enjoyed the strongest annualised growth in the South-West region. In 2009 the South West Regional Accounts showed that the Financial Services sector in Bournemouth was worth £1,031.8 million in Gross Value Added. Important employers in this sector include JPMorgan, Nationwide Building Society, and the Liverpool Victoria, Tata Consultancy Services, and RIAS insurance companies. The manufacturing sector is predominantly based in neighbouring Poole, but still employed 2% of the workforce in 2010 and 2.6% in 2011. Notable employers in this sector include Escor Toys and Parvalux.
Tourism is also important to the local economy. In 2011, domestic and overseas visitors made more than 5.6 million trips to the town and spent over £460 million between them. The equivalent of 8,531 full-time jobs exist as a result which accounts for 15% of all employment in the town. Bournemouth seafront is one of the UK's biggest attractions with 4.5 million visitors in 2011. RNLI lifeguards provide seasonal coverage of Bournemouth's beaches.
With a third of all town centre businesses in the leisure industry, Bournemouth has a booming nightlife economy and is a popular destination for stag and hen parties. These partygoers contribute £125 million a year to the economy and support 4,000 jobs. In 2010 the town was awarded a Purple Flag for providing a wide variety of night-time activities while maintaining the safety of both residents and visitors. An independent report published in 2012 indicates there has been a rise in antisocial behaviour which it attributes to the increase in nightlife.
Those of working age make up approximately 65% of Bournemouth's population and of these, 74.6% are economically active although not necessarily employed within the Bournemouth area. Industry in Bournemouth employed more than 76,400 people in 2011 but not all of these were Bournemouth residents. Of those employed in Bournemouth based industries, 29.32% were employed in the public administration, education and health sector. This compares favourably with Dorset, the South-West region, and the country as a whole, as do the other large sectors; distribution, hotels & restaurants (29.06%), and banking, finance and insurance (24.48%). 7.1% of full-time workers are self-employed, and 3.1% are self-employed part-time.
The shopping streets are mostly pedestrianised with modern shopping malls, Victorian arcades and a large selection of bars, clubs, and cafés. North of the centre there is an out-of-town shopping complex called Castlepoint. The 41-acre (17 ha) site has 40 units and was the largest shopping centre in the UK when it opened it 2003. Other major shopping areas are situated in the districts of Westbourne and Boscombe.
Bournemouth was ranked #1130 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Bournemouth has a population of over 183,491 people. Bournemouth also forms part of the wider South East Dorset metropolitan area which has a population of over 531,000 people. Bournemouth is the #85 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 4.6633 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores. Bournemouth is ranked #334 for startups with a score of 0.737. It is estimated there are around 8,320 businesses in Bournemouth