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Eden District Council
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The Economy

Eden is one of the six districts in Cumbria, and is situated in the eastern part of the county. About one fifth of the district lies within the Lake District National Park, whilst almost a quarter is within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Eden is the second largest district in England, and is the most sparsely populated district in England and Wales with a population of approximately 52,800. There are four main centres of population in Eden, which are; Penrith, Appleby, Alston and Kirkby Stephen. Eden is well served by the West Coast mainline rail service and the proximity to the M6 motorway and A66 makes the area an ideal location for businesses.

Eden district is a prosperous district, characterised by a high skills base, and consistently produces more business starts per 10,000 population than the North West average. Cumbria is the only sub-region in the North West containing businesses that consistently beat the North West and England in terms of 12, 24 and 36 month survival rates, and in Eden as a rural area the 12 month percentage rate between 2001 and 2005 is consistently on average 96% - significantly above the regional and England average.

The Eden economy tends to specialise in consumer services, due to the importance of the tourism industry in the area. Also, public services and distribution comprise major parts of the economy. The majority of firms in the area are micro firms (Lifestyle and family established businesses with typically fewer than 10 employees), whilst the total number of large firms with over 250 employees is low. The strengths of Eden are the low levels of unemployment, the high quality natural environment and successful larger employers.

Strong, innovative and competitive businesses are essential to the economy of Eden. A thriving economy raises the standards of living for the people within our communities. The work to increase the number of skills and jobs available reflects our commitment to creating a sustainable future for Eden. The development of Penrith New Squares and continued expansion on Eden Business Park will help achieve this future vision.

In the current climate of growth planned for the District, economic development is firmly at the forefront of the policy agenda and is a fundamental requirement in order to ensure that the District can grow in a balanced way with opportunity for all.

In the 10 years between 1995 and 2005, the East of Cumbria was the fastest growing area in terms of GVA in the North West region and 10th in England, growing at 6.5% per annum. GVA per head is £15,187 - 7th in the region, and GVA per head per annum growth over the period is the highest in the region at 6%. For more details see key facts and figures.

For further information:

  • Contact: Economic Regeneration Officer 
  • Address: Town Hall, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QF
  • Telephone: 01768 212169
  • Fax: 01768 890470
Newton Rigg Campus, Penrith
Eden Business Park from the air