Chichester City Profile

The stunning historic Cathedral City of Chichester, nestled between the beautiful national park and the protected natural harbours, is 70% of the reason why tourists visit this stretch of the South Coast of England. Founded by the invading Romans in 47AD, whose castrum was taken over by Cissa the Saxon in the 6th century (hence “Chichester”), rebuilt as one of his “burghs” by King Alfred in the 900s, upgraded by the Normans with a magnificent cathedral and granted a royal charter in 1135, besieged by the Roundheads in the 17th century, made rich from wool stapling in the 18th, a bustling trading county town in the 19th, Chichester was to finish up in the 20th as a repository and generator of significant national art treasures.

A rich variety of businesses

Now a unique 21st century city along the South Coast, the following sectors thrive in the city:

  • professional, scientific and technical creative and digital industries
  • finance health and well-being
  • construction
  • arts and entertainment
  • manufacturing
  • utilities
  • real estate
  • public administration

A rural market town that punches far above its weight, Chichester offers a fantastic array of retail, dining, services and entertainment experiences to its 9 million annual visitors, workers and citizens, of which 1.4M are less than an hour away. All set against one of the most perfectly preserved set of Georgian streets and medieval lanes in the country, still bound by their Roman walls.

The Chichester Business Community

59% of businesses in the City Centre are in retail where you will find 120 national brands and nearly 200 independent shops and eateries. At the last count, Chichester had 71 clothing stores, 54 health and beauty boutiques, 18 gift shops and 14 furniture shops open. Food and drink abounds, with over 30 cafés; a bakers’ dozen of takeaways; more than 20 pubs, hotels and bars; and nigh on 30 restaurants.

City Centre service industries do well too with 30 hair stylists, 18 estate agents, a dozen legal firms, all 11 national banks, 14 specialist financial or investment institutions and 12 businesses in the creative industries – at 6% per annum the fastest growing sector in the national economy.

The vital numbers (2019)

The BID city centre area contains 623 businesses. 100% of which are:

  • 286 multiples (46% of total)
  • 46 charities and public bodies (7% of total)
  • 291 independents (47% of total)

366 are in retail (59% of total)

  • 162 multiples (44% of retail, 26% of total)
  • 204 independents (56% of retail, 33% of total)

81 are in food & drink (18% of retail, 13% of total)

  • 39 multiples 48% (9% of retail, 6% of total)
  • 42 independents 52% (9% of retail, 7% of total)

130 are service businesses (21% or total)

  • 85 multiples 65%
  • 45 independents 35%

An above average skilled working population (last census)

  • In spite of a smaller 16-64 working population 57% (v 63% nationally), 83% remain economically active against 78% nationally.
  • The economically inactive number is 17% (v 22%) although 26% (19%) are technically retired!
  • In Chichester you will find skilled populations of Managers, professionals & associated 54% (v 45%); Admin, secretarial and skilled trades 21%; Leisure, caring, sales and customer service 16%
  • Over 46% have an NVQ4 equivalent qulaification and above (v 37% nationally) with a lower average of people with no qualification at 7% (v 9%)
  • Chichester pays well too with an average gross full-time weekly of £577 (v £541)
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