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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

WSI partners Fawley Waterside: An Intelligent Merchant City

Published: 12 January 2018
Core Technical Group
Core Technical Group

The Web Science Institute has partnered with Fawley Waterside Limited as they embark on building a new 'intelligent' town on the outskirts of Southampton.

The ambition to build Fawley Waterside, from the ‘internet up’ as a global exemplar that has fully considered what is needed to create a successful and happy community.

Replacing the UK’s largest oil fired power station, the biggest free standing building in Britain, on Hampshire’s most extensive brownfield site, with the first town scale ‘smart city’ in either America or Europe. Set between the exceptional natural landscape of the New Forest National Park and active waterways of the Solent. In this geographically extraordinary location we can build a town defined by the beauty of its architecture and landscape as a demonstrably positive addition both visually and environmentally.

“We have the opportunity to create a place that will be enormously beneficial to both new and existing communities and be the spearhead for showing how the UK has a new blueprint for successful town building” Aldred Drummond, Chief Executive, Fawley Waterside Ltd.

Fawley Waterside Limited have drawn together an exceptional core technical group to realise this ambition; Cisco, IBM, Siemens, Vodafone and the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton. Together they are charged with ensuring that this town has ‘intelligent’ infrastructure. It is ‘merchant’ as digital technology enables connections to the world and ‘city’, meaning small town where the demands of daily life can be met within the town itself surrounded by the metaphorical ‘green walls’ of the National Park and ‘blue walls’ of the Solent.

“We are proud to be supporting this visionary project, the first in the UK to be built from the internet up. We’re looking forward to co-creating innovative solutions together with Fawley Waterside and the technical partners” Paul Brodrick, Business Development Director, Digitalisation of Siemens plc.

“We are delighted to be part of this group and to help balance the social and the technical aspects of such an ambitious and brave project” Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director of the Web Science Institute, University of Southampton.

"IBM is excited to be involved in building a smart town from the ground up: a very rare opportunity. We see many applications for Internet of Things technology and data analytics to enhance the lives of residents and the management of the town" Andy Stanford-Clark, Chief Technology Officer for IBM UK & Ireland.

“Smart City projects the world over aim to provide better services for their residents, businesses and society, but what Fawley Waterside aims to do is ground breaking. Taking the concept of intelligence through connectivity as the foundational principle has the potential to challenge how we architect cities. We look forward to working with the leading consortium of partners on building the vision out further” Scot Gardner, Chief Executive, Cisco UK & Ireland

 “Vodafone is pleased to be a communications supporter of Fawley Waterside. This innovative project is a great opportunity to build a digitally enabled community from scratch”, Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director, Vodafone UK.



Fawley Waterside Ltd purchased the Fawley Power Station site from RWE npower in 2015. The company was founded and is led by Chief Executive Aldred Drummond, owner of the neighbouring Cadland Estate, alongside local well established investors all with shared long-term interests.

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Fawley Waterside Site Aerial
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FW Masterplan Watercolour
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