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Upbeat business owners looking to expand

20 March 2018

Business owners in South Lakeland feel upbeat about the future according to the results of an annual survey.

Almost a quarter of those who took part say they’ll be looking to change their premises in the next three years and one in six is expecting to increase staffing levels.

Of the 1,143 business which responded to the South Lakeland Business Premises Survey for 2017, three quarters feel confident about the next 12 months.

The survey, which is undertaken by our Invest in South Lakeland economic development team, helps to provide an up-to-date assessment of local business need.

Councillor Graham Vincent, our Economy portfolio holder, said: “The results of the survey are very encouraging. One headline figure is that almost 260 local businesses are looking ahead and expecting to move premises, with the majority expecting to increase in size by means of moving, expanding and or acquiring new premises.

“One in every six business owners has indicated that they expect to create more jobs which says a lot about sustained growth and the delivery of real economic success.” 

The survey is yet more positive news about local economic activity.     

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that South Lakeland’s economy has become the fastest growing in Cumbria, out-performing neighbouring district authorities and overtaking the cities of Lancaster and Carlisle. 

More than £100million has been added to the value of goods and services produced across the district, according to the ONS figures.

Meanwhile South Lakeland has been listed as one of the North West’s top five ‘vibrant economies’ by accountants Grant Thornton in a report for a major international event to attract inward investment.

The ‘Vibrant Economy Index’ scores areas on economic performance, taking into account factors such as prosperity, dynamism and opportunity, and health, wellbeing and happiness.

South Lakeland is ranked fifth overall in the North West, just ahead of Lancaster in sixth and Manchester in eighth positions, and is the only Cumbrian district to make the North West top ten. 

“South Lakeland District Council is committed to attracting inward investment, supporting the development of higher paid jobs and helping our towns and villages to thrive commercially. Based on the encouraging economic news we have received over the past few weeks and months, we are continuing to deliver successful business outcomes,” added Cllr Vincent.