Local economy strategy and research

For businesses that are looking to invest in the New Forest, we publish facts, figures and research on our local economy.

If your business needs local information to inform your business or investment plan, contact our Economic Development Team by phone to 023 8028 5735 or by email to businesssupport@nfdc.gov.uk.

Economic Development Strategy 2018-2023

The New Forest economy is hugely diverse; diverse in terms of the businesses located within, the geographical landscape of the district and the workforce which shapes the local economy.

Although the New Forest is predominantly rural, it does not mean that it cannot be ambitious in striving for higher value jobs, ensuring a skilled workforce and benefit from greater connectivity. The District Council seeks to create an environment which offers opportunities for young people, poses an attractive option for business investment and delivers a culture in which indigenous businesses can thrive. These objectives are not delivered at the expense of the traditional local economy but if achieved in the correct manner, will add value to them.

This strategy sets out a vision to tackle the identified barriers to growth in five key themes:

  • developing a skilled workforce
  • increasing growth and productivity
  • developing local infrastructure
  • facilitating vibrant towns and villages
  • promoting the unique New Forest offer.

Through this strategy, we seek to create an environment which:

  • offers opportunities for young people
  • poses an attractive option for business investment
  • delivers a culture in which indigenous businesses can thrive.

We are committed to working in partnership with other organisations to deliver the strategy's objectives.

You can download our current Economic Development Strategy below.

Icon for pdf New Forest Economic Development Strategy 2018-23 [3.21MB]

Economic Profile 2018

This profile was commissioned to inform our Economic Development Strategy. It provides a comprehensive and wide-ranging overview of the New Forest economy.

You can download the Economic Profile below.

Icon for pdf New Forest Economic Profile 2018 [3.03MB]

Commuter flow

This study into New Forest's workforce looks at:

  • commuting patterns and numbers
  • percentages of resident and workplace workers
  • main methods of travel.

You can download the Commuter Flows 2011 fact sheet below.

Icon for pdf New Forest Commuter Flows Factsheet 2011 [130.44KB]

Indices of deprivation

This study looks at levels of deprivation among the population of New Forest. 

You can download the indices of deprivation reports below.

Icon for pdf New Forest Indices of Deprivation 2019 [163.81KB]

Icon for pdf New Forest Indices of Deprivation Map 2019 [382.88KB]

Covid-19 business needs survey

In May and June of 2020, the District Council conducted a Business Needs Survey amongst New Forest businesses to understand the impacts of Covid-19 on the local economy. The survey focused on the impacts being felt at the time but also sought to understand what support would be required looking into the future. 

The report was presented to the Council's Covid-19 Economy Task and Finish Group and the key findings from this data are now being fed into the developing Economic Recovery Plan. 

A summary of these results can be found via the link below.

Icon for pdf New Forest Covid-19 Business Needs Survey [81.18KB]

Other sources of data

Hampshire County Council also produces Facts and Figures on a County and District Council level. This information  includes data and reports from their Economic & Business Intelligence Service 

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