THIS new drone programme could help save over £7 million for Southampton's public sector, and generate £41 million to the city's GDP.

National charity, Nesta, aims to spark and shape new ideas to improve how the world works, and its new "Flying High" programme hopes to contribute to that.

After researching into the efficiency of drones, the programme revealed that using them in the public sector could provide huge benefits to UK cities, and Southampton could save more than £7 million by 2035.

According to reports, the drones could not only save money, but be invaluable in helping provide services such as supporting faster, more efficient transportation of medical supplies or blood samples, replacing the need for costly road transport vehicles, or helping emergency services, like fire and police, to assess a scene before they arrive.

Research also showed that they could encourage innovative approaches to infrastructure maintenance and work too, alleviating pressure on councils finding resources for jobs that are more labour-intensive.

Tris Dyson, Executive Director of Nesta Challenges, which manages Flying High, said: "Drones delivering public services in cities could be part of our reality in the near future, bringing major benefits for the public sector.

"This is a great opportunity but cities and the public they represent will be critical in enabling the development of these urban drone services. If we can integrate technology, regulation, city leadership, public services and public engagement, we will help position the UK as a global leader in developing urban drone services and will unlock the significant economic opportunity for our future.”

Southampton is one of the top 10 cities across the UK that could have a positive economic impact on its public sector due to the use of drones, and Nesta believes that their programme could increase the city's GDP by £41 million, as part of a £6.9 billion boost in the UK by 2035.