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Big Business in Hampshire: Global Brands And The Major Employers

Apptaura – the app development agency

Big Business in Hampshire

Hampshire is home to 86,000 businesses. It is one of the strongest performing economies outside of London. With the benefit of strong transport links into London and Europe it’s not surprising that a number of the biggest brands in the UK have chosen to set up shop in Hampshire. From tech to tea, TV to transport, Hampshire has a range of big name businesses and brands to envy. Check out some of the big businesses that call Hampshire home. 

De La Rue

One of the biggest brands you’ve probably never heard of! Founded over 200 years ago, De La Rue is headquartered in Basingstoke, Hampshire. They are best known for printing banknotes, stamps and passports. De La Rue held an exclusive contract to produce all British sterling notes and British passports over the last decade. 

The AA

Founded in 1905, the Automobile Association has been based in Basingstoke, Hampshire since the 1960s.  More commonly known as The AA they provide vehicle insurance, breakdown cover, motoring advice, road maps and roadside assistance among other services. The proliferation of roundabouts in Basingstoke is often attributed to the presence of the AA in the town – though that seems to be no more than an urban legend.


Headquartered in Andover, Hampshire Twinings has been marketing and selling tea for over 300 years. Twinings holds the record for the world’s oldest continually in-use logo. You can read more about the history of Twinings here.

Bombay Sapphire

Tea not your tipple of choice? Then never fear for Hampshire is home to one of the most famous brands of gin in the world – Bombay Sapphire. Distilled since 2014 in an old paper mill in Laverstock, Hampshire Bombay Sapphire is exported globally. Today you can visit the distillery, enjoy a tour, tastings and cocktail-making classes.


Computing giant IBM has housed its UK headoffice in Portsmouth. They are the largest single private employer in Hampshire responsible for over 18,000 roles according to Of course IBM have moved on from their early computer tower dominance and now specialise in AI, blockchain, cloud computing and digital security. 


High Street retail brand Game is headquartered in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Their HQ appropriately boasts a gaming arena. So we’re not sure if we would get much done if we worked there. Apart from racking up a few more platinum trophies. 

With more than 250 retail locations Game remains the most visible high street gaming purveyor. 

Ordnance Survey

Founded in 1791 Ordnance Survey moved to their Hampshire home in Southampton 2010. Set up initially to create maps for the military (hence their name) the OS became the national mapping agency for Great Britain. Today they produce digital map data, online route planning and sharing services and mobile apps plus other location based products for business, government and consumers. 

We’d wager that even with the prevalance of phone-based navigation you still have a couple of OS maps knocking about somewhere. Good for planning walks. 

Fat Face

A British lifestyle, clothing and accessories retailer Fat Face was founded in 1988 by Tim Slade and Jules Leaver. Originally selling T-shirts at ski resorts the pair grew Fat Face into a national brand. Now a familiar face in shopping malls and high streets round the country Fat Face has headquartered in Havant, Hampshire. 


And of course, Apptaura your favourite app development agency is also based in Hampshire. Basingstoke, Hampshire to be specific. 

We might not have been around for as long as some of the other businesses in the area. But to be fair smartphones haven’t been around for hundreds of years. We are passionate about developing apps for businesses in Hampshire and have worked with a range of local clients including multinational banks, national removals firms, and food hygiene agencies. If you’re interested in finding out how an app could change your business, get in touch.

The App Development Agency for Hampshire Businesses

Looking for an app development agency in Hampshire? Apptaura builds apps for a range of businesses, from multi-nationals to sparky start-ups, charities to SMEs and manufacturing businesses.

Support & Resources for Businesses in Hampshire

We all need support from time to time. Here you can find some business support and networking resources for businesses based in Hampshire. From local councils to app development agencies.

The Best Agencies based in Hampshire

Hampshire is blessed with some of the best agencies in the business. From IT to Marketing, Recruitment to Design and App Development we've created a list of our favourite agencies.
Check the list out here.

The best flexible working spaces in Hampshire

The traditional office is changing and Hampshire is ahead of the curve. With a range of flexible work spaces, serviced offices and shared working hubs, these are our favourite flexible working spaces in Hampshire.