The Bath and North East Somerset economy - an overview
Bath and North East Somerset is a Unitary Authority District with a total population of roughly 180,000. The City of Bath is its main urban area (with a population of 89,000). The market towns of Keynsham, Midsomer Norton and Radstock are home to 50% of the rest of the population.
The area has around 8,500 businesses employing around 92,000 people. Our economy produced roughly £3.2bn in gross value added (GVA) output in 2012.
The Bath area has a relatively low unemployment rate (3.1% compared to 3.4% in the West of England and 4.9% nationally), relatively highly qualified residents (44% with qualifications of NVQ4+) and 25% of residents employed in professional occupations.
Key and growth sectors
The Bath area has:
- Above-average levels of employment in creative, digital and ICT-related employment - particularly across the arts, and in publishing and software development
- Above-average levels of employment in health and wellbeing, retail, leisure and tourism employment
- Huge potential for growth in knowledge-based occupations, thanks to the co-location of creative industries with technologists, engineers, professional and financial services, and leading research centres at the University of Bath and Bath Spa University.
Ambitions for economic growth
The Economic Strategy for Bath and North East Somerset (2014) sets out our ambitions for jobs growth in the Bath area:
- To achieve a net jobs growth of 11,500 jobs across the Bath area by 2030
- To achieve improved productivity, average earnings and job sustainability across the Bath area.
The public and private sectors will work in partnership to achieve this growth, particularly through the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. Priority activities include:
- The provision of appropriate and modern workspace
- Inward investment promotion
- Promotion of business support programmes, including free face-to-face business support and advice
- Improving access to broadband
- Education and businesses working together for mutual benefit