Dorset's Economy

Our vision is for Dorset to become a high productivity economy with high Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked or per worker or FTE. We will achieve greater productivity through increasing income and reducing costs to businesses. We want to support and enable the delivery of enough new homes to meet the demand from those who live and work in Dorset. Where possible, housing should be co-located with sustainable transport hubs, and along with new employment sites, should contribute to the self-containment of urban areas. Digital technology and the potential for flexible working should be integral to new housing developments.

Dorset has just over 30,000 businesses. Around 90% of these are micro-businesses with less than ten employees, which is consistent with the national business size profile. The number of new business in Dorset has been growing since 2009, but at a lower rate than in the UK as a whole. Our future economic growth needs a healthy rate of new business starts. Our vision is for a strong and growing business population, with high rates of business start-ups, and good business survival rates. We will have domestic businesses which are trading outside of Dorset and outside of the UK, including tourism businesses in Dorset that are attracting customers from the rest of the UK and verseas. We will have high levels of inward investment and businesses with high levels of Research & Development (R&D) and innovation. The latter will be achieved, in part, by our businesses working closely with our two universities (including a specialist arts university). Our key sectors will be core to the growth of the business population.

The statistics below give a picture of the South West since May 2010. We aim to keep them as up-to-date as possible, using published information as it becomes available.

Jobs & Tax

Employment was up by 179,000
People taken out of income tax: 328,000
People who have had an income tax cut: 2,340,000


Businesses getting up to £2k off National Insurance: 68,000
Start up loan approvals: 2,809
Value of start up loan approvals: £16,016,370
Increased number of businesses: 99,000

Housing, Infrastructure & Investment

Number of new first time buyers: 121,800
Number of projects/programmes in National Infrastructure Plan: 34
Direct investment from Regional Growth Fund: £240,000,000

"Dorset is home to a wealth of internationally competitive companies and many have their headquarters in Dorset.  Dorset offers a strong culture of enterprise and innovation across key sectors such as Aerospace, Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing, Creative & Digital Industries and Financial Services, with emerging sectors in Cyber Security, Life Sciences and Agri-Tech."


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