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High Peak economic growth out strips national average

High Peak economic growth out strips national average

5,000 more High Peak residents are in work now than three years ago and unemployment in the borough has fallen below national and regional levels. The latest performance figures show the economy is growing - but High Peak is growing faster than most other paces.

Between 2012 and 2016:

  • High Peak's economy grew by almost 19% and at a faster rate than both Derbyshire and national averages
  • At 1.3% unemployment is below the local and national averages
  • Private sector employment is up by 18.7%
  • 5,500 more people are now in employment than three years ago
  • Almost 50,000 people of working age are now in employment - at 83.8% this is highest level in Derbyshire
  • 5,500 more people are now in employment than three years ago

Councillor Tony Kemp, Executive Councillor for Regeneration at High Peak Borough Council, said: "This just goes to show that times are finally getting better and we are able to see the results of our careful planning and sheer hard work to turn the national and local economies around.

"It hasn't happened by chance. The Council has a clear vision for the future and is delivering a strong programme of business support coupled with a commitment to encouraging and enabling development of sites identified in our Local Plan for commerce, public services and housing. We have an excellent and enthusiastic team of officers working to help firms find premises, get planning consent and source grants to help them develop - helping existing High Peak businesses stay local and encouraging others to move to our great area.

"I'm particularly pleased to see that this is paying dividends for our residents with more people in work and a significant increase in private sector employment. This is a fantastic set of performance figures but we must ensure we continue to build on this firm foundation by working with existing and prospective businesses and our residents to maximise the opportunities this economic growth will open up."

Award-winning biotech company Retrogenix is just one of the businesses based in the High Peak benefiting from economic growth. The medical research company has agreements with 19 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies and numerous leading academic and not-for-profit organisations around the world.

The company, which has won two prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise, is currently based in Whaley Bridge but needed more space and is moving to the site of the former Council offices in Chinley due to business expansion - a relocation helped by the Council's Economic Regeneration Team.

Jo Soden, co-founder and co-managing director, explained why being based in the High Peak is good for business: "I have lived in the High Peak all my life so I'm proud that we have built a global business that is actively contributing to the local economy both in terms of job creation and in raising the profile of the High Peak.

"There are many highly trained technical people living in the region and we have benefited from this talent pool. Living in an area of outstanding beauty also helps with the process of attracting skilled scientists to join us from other areas. It is also important to us to help provide training for young apprentices from the local area.

"We are really looking forward to continuing to grow our business and our move to our new base in Chinley will help with this expansion."

There's more information about support and advice for businesses on our website - www.highpeak.gov.uk