Economic Development Team
Dept. of Development
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
Business and economy
- Plymouth's outstanding environment and setting have shaped its economic and social development for centuries. The city has a rich maritime history with the Plymouth economy historically heavily dependent on the defence sector and, whilst defence employment has reduced substantially over the last 20 years, more than 12,000 are still employed directly or indirectly in this sector which includes approximately 7,500 armed forces personnel.
- The public sector is prominent in Plymouth's economy with more than 29% of employees working in public administration, education and health, and employment in manufacturing in line with the national average. Central Government occupies over 800,000 sq ft of offices in Plymouth.
- Plymouth has recognised strengths in the defence, marine, medical and engineering sectors. Plymouth's marine research is world-renowned and centres on the University, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Marine Biological Association and the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science.
- Plymouth has a loyal and effective workforce, with a substantial pool of skilled labour in key sectors of the economy such as engineering.
- There will be over £1 billion of commercial property investment in Plymouth over the next 20 years, including the construction of Drake Circus (654,000 sq ft of new retail space) which opened in October 2006, and the redevelopment of Bretonside, Sutton Harbour and Millbay.
- Tamar Science Park is the country's fastest-growing science park with over 50 companies employing in excess of 500 staff. It provides a hub for science and technology-based businesses.
- Plymouth's interests are represented within the South West UK Brussels Office, which provides a unified voice in Brussels for the south west region. The office works to ensure the European Institutions fully understand the needs and opportunities of the south west of England and its sub-regions; to provide partners with the information and intelligence necessary for them to optimise the benefit of EU membership; and to develop transnational links with other EU regions. The office is supported by a partnership of the following key sector public organisations, and further details may be found on the South West UK Brussels Office website.