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A joint Economic Growth Strategy

North Dorset District, West Dorset District, Weymouth and Portland Borough and Dorset County Councils make up the Western Dorset Economic Growth Partnership. The Partnership worked together to create this joint Economic Growth Strategy. This is a living document that is reviewed regularly by the Partnership.

Economic Growth is a key part of the National agenda, with Local Enterprise Partnerships contributing to national strategies. Our strategy sets out how we will contribute to Dorset’s Economic Ambition through 5 strategic economic themes:

These themes each have their own programmes of work with clear delivery aims

Our vision

By 2033 the Economic Growth Strategy will supported and delivered:

  • 20,000 new homes
  • 13,200 new full-time equivalent jobs
  • a minimum of 70 hectares of new employment land
  • an increase from 25% - 25% in the proportion of workforce with Level 4 qualifications or higher
  • an additional £564m of GVA (gross value added) to the Western Dorset Area

How we will deliver the strategy

Delivery of our growth strategy will be achieved through strong, focused partnership working. We are resourcing at a number of stages and levels across our partner agencies. Targeted project teams are drawn from across relevant partners and stakeholders in the public and private sectors. Local authority teams are drawn from many of the service units within Dorset County Council and Dorset Councils Partnership. We have quarterly member board meetings and regular project team meetings to keep the Programmes moving forward.

We pledge to keep economic growth at the forefront in our policy development and implementation

Our strategy describes both our aspiration for the area and also that of other stakeholders so that it’s truly an economic growth plan for Western Dorset.

It is apparent in times of change – political and fiscal - that the Western Dorset Economic Growth Partnership cannot achieve our economic vision without the support and participation of key partners and businesses.

We look to our Schools, Colleges, and Universities to support our identified skills needs. This is not just for our young people, but also those currently in employment looking to - or needing to - upskill.

We look to our business growth partners and agencies to work with us and support our business growth and productivity expectations.

We look to national and local developers to deliver new homes to accommodate our growing population, and employment sites and premises to support business growth.

Understanding our area

Western Dorset covers 1,733 square kilometres and is home to 235,509 residents. It is a wonderful place to live, inspiring creativity and attracting vast numbers of tourists every year.

Map of area covered by Economic Growth Strategy

Our towns and settlements are historic in nature with a high proportion of listed buildings. This quality natural and built environment shapes a distinctive character with sense of place, lifestyle and quality of life that will be enhanced by this Strategy.

Our area is already home to over 12,000 businesses in a diverse economy. We are looking to drive additional businesses and job opportunities by developing key employment and housing sites focused around our urban locations and growth towns.

Our rural growth area 

Dorset landscape

Most of our rural areas lie in designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and include many growth towns and thriving villages with their challenges of rurality. These town and villages will be supported to achieve local economic growth and contribute to rural Dorset’s future prosperity.

Our coastal communities  

Watersports in Weymouth

These lie along our UNESCO World Heritage designated Jurassic coastline and shape our marine economy. Local maritime assets at Weymouth, Bridport and Lyme Regis are supported to maximise their potential, as well as the strategically important port and Harbour of Portland.

At a glance

This map highlights our most significant economic infrastructure, assets and connections. It also provides a snapshot of some of the key planned and potential development projects.

Map of area covered by Economic Growth Strategy

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