our region:

Our economy

Our economic strategy combines our vision and values with a clear plan towards achieving our ambitions for significant growth by 2038.

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It’s our abition to grow our economy in the most inclusive and sustainable way possible.

Our economy contributes £14.3bn in economic output measured as Gross Value Added (GVA) or £21,178 per person. Over the last five years for which we have data, our economy grew by 5.9%, adding £800m to UK output. Exports are worth £1.8bn annually.

Our economic goals:

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Be in the top 25% for life satisfaction nationally

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Create 1,000 new jobs in low carbon sectors by 2030

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Move to 50% renewable electricity by 2030

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Reduce 1990 carbon emissions by 57% by 2032

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Lower fuel poverty to below 10% by 2030

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Grow our economy to £23.8BN by 2038

The Marches in numbers:

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£14.3BN
Total GVA

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£27.76
GVA per hour worked

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684,300
Population

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286,000
Number of jobs

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30,775
Number of businesses

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32.5%
Residents with level 4+ qualifications

Key insights into our economy

More residents here are engaged in the economy with an economic activity rate of 80% compared to 78.2% nationally. Employment is also high at 76.7% compared to the UK average of 74.7%.

80% economic activity rate compared to the 78% national average

There are low levels of benefits dependency with only 0.7% of 18 to 64-year olds claiming Job Seekers Allowance, which is lower than the national figure of 1.2%. Employment and Support Allowance claimants make up 5.3% of the working age population in the Marches, compared to 5.9% nationally.

We have significant sectoral strengths in advanced manufacturing with specialisms in metals, machinery and automotive, particularly lightweighting and composites, as well as business and professional services and food and drink, especially in meat and dairy processing.

Only 0.7% of 18 to 64-year olds claim Job Seekers Allowance

And we have emerging, nationally important strengths in environmental technology, cyber security and resilience, agri-tech, and innovative health and social care.

Overall, our productivity is lower than the UK average at £27.76 per hour worked, compared to £33.99 nationally, and has been relatively static since 2004.

The productivity challenge is not unique to the Marches, but does reflect our demographics, skills and physical and digital connectivity. We will continue to support innovation and investment to improve productivity.

What we offer

The Marches provides an outstanding business environment, offering both employers and staff the best of work and home life.

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Our vision

Together, we are developing a vibrant regional economy, putting business at the heart of our work and removing the barriers to growth through investment in our key projects.

Learn more
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