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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Dorset's Economic Growth Strategy - Business and environment

Our aim is to ensure local businesses have access to high quality support when needed. We want to encourage the creation of new sustainable businesses, the growth of existing businesses and to attract new businesses to the area.

Several important sectors have the potential to drive growth in Dorset. To do so, quality and competitiveness can be maintained and improved. Opportunities to increase the value of these sectors will be identified and developed.

Key sector prospects

Key sector prospects
Dorset prospectsKey sectorGrowth scenario

Potential to provide significant growth

Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing

Scope for strong local growth in high and medium-high technology manufacturing

Focus on aerospace marine and defence


Increase in jobs and productivity likely providing

availability of skilled and adaptable workforce met

ICT services

Productivity anticipated to grow above national average

Support and infrastructure critical for all sector growth

Potential to increase contribution to growth if local challenges addressed

Health and social care

Significant job growth anticipated, particularly with e-health and e-care solutions

Land based industry

Agri-tech and aquaculture priority sectors for investment and development of workforce skills


Tourism and leisure

Job numbers to remain steady, investment to improve the Dorset ‘offer’ improving visitor experience, productivity and quality of employment opportunity

Intervention required to mitigate negative effects on Dorset economy

Financial and professional services

Marginal falls in jobs and GVA anticipated, reflecting national trends

Public Administration and defence

Likely to experience continuing reduction in jobs and investment without local intervention


Jobs fall anticipated in line with national trends and changes in retail patterns, especially towards online

• Reduced requirement for multiples to have presence in smaller locations

What will we do?

  • create an environment that encourages enterprise and business start-ups
  • ensure local businesses have access to high quality business support services
  • provide access to key information regarding the business impact of COVID-19, Brexit and environmental issues
  • dedicate resource to support existing and emerging Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)
  • develop the ‘Visit Dorset’ brand to support the visitor economy and promote sustainable tourism
  • support potential growth sectors, and sectors more severely impacted by COVID-19 (see table above)

How will we do it?

  • establish a business communications and engagement programme in order to understand local business needs and signpost support
  • liaise closely with business support providers to ensure the right services are accessible and meet the needs of the local business community across Dorset
  • work with existing Business Improvement Districts to support their programmes of activity and engage with businesses seeking to establish new BIDs
  • provide an interactive employment and commercial database
  • fund a post with Dorset Chamber to provide EU exit information for businesses
  • deliver the Low Carbon Dorset programme

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