The local authorities of Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole in association with the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have prepared a revised Workspace Strategy for the Dorset LEP area which includes the Eastern and Western Dorset Housing Market Areas (HMAs).

This Workspace Strategy supersedes the 2008 Workspace Strategy and 2012 Workspace Study and takes account changes in the economic context since their preparation.

The updated strategy is also necessary as a shared evidence base to inform the review of the Dorset Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), informal strategic planning undertaken between local authorities, Local Plans and Employment Land Reviews. The informal strategic planning process and work undertaken between local authorities through the Duty to Co-operate will inform the future distribution of employment land across the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area to 2033. This will help to ensure the delivery of sufficient employment land and premises of the right type and in the right location to meet the future needs of the economy for the Dorset LEP area.

What is the Workspace Strategy?

The Workspace Strategy is required in order to provide updated employment land projections and business sector forecasts. It is integral to achieving the objectives of the Dorset SEP and aspirations for economic growth across the Dorset LEP area. The SEP sets out a vision to establish a step change in the Dorset economy through investment in infrastructure and skills. This includes extensive plans for economic growth including the delivery of key infrastructure to facilitate economic growth on strategic sites such as Bournemouth Airport Business Park, the Port of Poole and the Dorset Enterprise Zone at Dorset Green, Purbeck. In addition funding has enabled feasibility work to unlock significant growth in the Dorchester / Weymouth corridor. In order to support growth, the SEP identifies the need to secure the delivery of sufficient employment land to meet the needs of local business and inward investment.

The preparation of the Workspace Strategy has been predicated on a robust, market facing assessment of the demand for and supply of employment land, sites and premises in the Dorset LEP area. The main objectives of the Workspace Strategy are as follows:

  1. To establish employment Land projections for the Dorset LEP area and the Eastern and Western Dorset HMAs (as functional economic areas) for B1, B2 and B8 use classes to 2033
  2. To balance employment land demand / supply and provide recommendations regarding the provision and distribution of land and premises across the Dorset LEP area and Eastern and Western Dorset HMAs

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