Priority: Prosperous Dartmoor

– enabling a diverse, resilient economy that is consistent with the special qualities of the National Park

Dartmoor has a surprisingly diverse economy. It is characterised by a large proportion of small businesses, with high levels of self-employment. More than half of employed people living on Dartmoor work within professional and skilled trade occupations or at managerial level, reflecting the effect of a high quality environment as a factor in people and businesses choosing to locate on Dartmoor. Agriculture, forestry, tourism and recreation account for around a third of employment and a quarter of turnover in the National Park, and are important due to their close links to National Park purposes (Cumulus Consulting (2013) Dartmoor National Park Economic Profile, part of the Valuing England's National Parks report).

The public sector (particularly education and health), retail, business services, and construction are also important in terms of overall employment numbers, and below this there are a large number of other sectors that each employ more than 1% of the workforce (Dartmoor's Sector Outlooks - Final report to Dartmoor National Authority, SERIO Plymouth University 2013). This diversity helps to make the economy more balanced and resilient. Many of these smaller sectors are service related, often where individuals can work from home, which fit in well with the National Park context.

What are the issues and opportunities?

  • Encouraging growth and resilience in the local economy through the diversity of business types and employment.
  • Developing employment opportunities in growth sectors such as construction, business services, tourism and leisure.
  • Retaining successful and growing businesses.
  • Reversing the 'brain drain'.
  • Nurturing the culture of initiative, enterprise and energy in business, with people developing new markets and using new technology.
  • The future viability of farming on Dartmoor including farm succession.
  • Ensuring land-based and building skills are sustained for future management of the National Park.
  • Increasing the quality of the tourism on offer within the National Park and spend per visitor in order to increase the value of leisure and tourism to the local economy.

What are we trying to achieve?

In responding to these challenges, we have identified the following four key areas where action should be focused over the Plan period:

  • linking prosperity and protection;
  • boosting the green economy;
  • entrepreneurship and skills development;
  • infrastructure to support business development.

The key areas can be seen in detail by selecting the read more button below.

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