The Economy of Eden
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 60,000. 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 attractive for businesses. Eden district has low unemployment and a high skills base. It has consistently produced more business starts per 10,000 population than the North West 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. We recognise that strong, innovative and competitive businesses are essential to the well-being 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. We have ambitious plans for jobs and growth, which means economic development is a policy priority. For more details, see key facts and figures.