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Bournemouth area predicted to have 10th fastest-growing economy


THE Bournemouth area has been declared a boom town, with one of the fastest-growing economies in the UK.

Analysts expect the local economy to grow by 1.5 per cent this year, putting it at number 10 in a national league table.

And the town had the fastest-growing employment rate in the country in the third quarter of 2017, according to the UK Powerhouse study.

The study, produced by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, covered 45 of the UK’s largest “cities”. It used the name Bournemouth to cover the wider urban area including Poole.

Hannah Clipston, a partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Southampton office, said: “The latest UK Powerhouse report reveals steady economic growth within cities on the South Coast during 2017.

“What is particularly pleasing, however, is that despite the strong headwinds and uncertainty, Southampton, Portsmouth ad Bournemouth are predicted to be in the top 10 for the fastest economic growth in 2018.

“Bournemouth’s employment growth is also a strong step forward and emphasises how the banking, finance and insurance industry’s presence is having a strong impact on the area.”

The report says employment in Bournemouth grew by 1.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.

Cllr Philip Broadhead, cabinet member for economic growth on Bournemouth council, said: “It’s great to see another statistic showing Bournemouth performing strongly on the national stage.

“Securing employment for both now and the next generation is a huge focus for us at the moment, and it’s clear that central government have faith in us, with the large multi-million pound grants we have secured for key employment sites such as the Lansdowne and Wessex Fields as two good examples.

“Key growth areas include the financial services sector and of course the digital economy – and we’re working towards becoming the first in the world to launch 5G, giving yet another reason for businesses wishing to test new technologies to relocate here.”

David McArthur, business development manager for the Department for Work and Pensions in Bournemouth, said: “We welcome the results and breadth of this study, and though we cannot comment on the accuracy, we do have multiple strong employment sectors so it’s no surprise.

“More and more employers are seeing the benefit of the competitive, sustainable and resilient sector mix in Dorset, and of course in Southampton and Portsmouth.

“The growing business population opening more and more opportunities for local people can only further improve the local workforce and employment rate, from a position of strength already.”

The report also examines the impact education has on economies. The gross value added by the education sector rose 18 per cent to £174.5million between 2012 and 2015. Education employed 8,636 people locally – four per cent of employment.

Story courtesy of the Daily Echo Bournemouth.