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Key features of the economy

  • Eden has the lowest population density of any local authority in England (0.2 people per hectare), which is just 6% of the England average. The largest town, Penrith has a population of around 16 000 (29 % of Eden district). This a historic market town served the catchment of the
  • Eden district for retail, business and other services
  • Penrith and the Eden district is well located on the M6 and A66 and is the centre for logistics, manufacturing and organisations wishing to serve all of Cumbria. Carlisle is accessible from Penrith as it sits centrally on the north/south spine in Cumbria
  • Agriculture is a very important sector in Eden, as well as food industries and the tourism sector, particularly in the Lake District

Opportunities and threats

  • Penrith and the surrounds offer a good quality of life (5th best in the UK according to a recent Halifax assessment)
  • There are housing affordability issues and relatively low wages in many parts of the district. The employment space in Penrith is largely used up and there is a shortage of new accommodation
  • Penrith/Eden have particularly low unemployment rates and a very small spare labour supply, thus, recruitment is a major challenge for businesses. Increasingly, larger firms have had to rely on workers travelling in from outside the area
  • It is one of the less affordable housing areas in Cumbria, in part because wage levels are low in the district Eden District Council has been pursuing plans for a major expansion of Penrith
  • Newton Rigg College has been earmarked for future agri-tech investments

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