South Lakeland is home to a varied range of companies, covering a diversity of industry sectors. The largest employers include well-known household names with a vast array of small and medium sized businesses providing their own contribution to the South Lakeland economy.
The area’s tradition of manufacturing, coupled with rapid leisure, tourism, hospitality and service sector growth, along with the resident engineering base, has created a skilled and highly-adaptable workforce. Having an experienced and committed workforce is cited as a key reason for the success enjoyed by many of South Lakeland’s notable companies.
As you would expect in a region which includes a large part of the Lake District National Park, hospitality accounts for much of the South Lakeland economy, with approx 7,300 of the FTE workforce employed in this sector.
Recent figures from the Census, 2011 indicate that around 5,000 of the workforce are employed within manufacturing, including pharmaceuticals (GlaxoSmithKline), precision engineering (Gilbert Gilkes and Gordon, Furmanite, Marl, Mardix Switchgear), food manufacture (Farley / HJ Heinz) and paper products (James Cropper, Billerud).
A similar number of people are employed in the construction industry including well known companies such as Russel Armer as well as many small business owners.
Retail accounts for approx 7,200 of the workforce with the arts, recreation and entertainment accounting for over 3,000 jobs. Predictably, health, education and the public sector are the other key employers in South Lakeland.
Employment levels within South Lakeland are historically high with over 90% of the working age population being economically active.
Small businesses account for much of the economy in South Lakeland - a higher percentage than both the North West and the UK as a whole with over 68% of the workforce employed in businesses employing ten or fewer people.
For more information on South Lakeland's economy, please see the following: