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Maximising Cumbria’s economic strengths

Cumbria has a diverse economic structure, with a tapestry of sectoral concentrations distributed across the county.

CLEP recognises and works with nine key sectors that account for over two thirds of Cumbria's economy in both economic value and employment within the county. Five of these sectors are considered to have significant current specialisations or unique offers. These are;

Logistics and Health and Social Care sectors contribute around average shares of GVA and jobs. They are also important sources of employment and provide essential services for other sectors, as well as the wider socio-economic health of the county. There is potential for further development in all sectors. However, Professional Services and the Creative and Cultural sectors are currently under-represented within Cumbria and therefore present opportunity for an increase in productivity and growth.

Advanced Manufacturing

Photo of two men inspecting at a factory

A major concentration of productive manufacturing and engineering activity underpins the Cumbrian Economy. Our businesses excel in wood and paper production, nuclear and maritime engineering, and rubber, plastics and food production. A well-established tradition in apprenticeships supports a vibrant manufacturing workforce, with 16,000 people currently employed in the sector.

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Clean Energy

Aerial photograph of nuclear plant alongside coast

Cumbria’s strong Clean Energy heritage will be key to reaching decarbonisation targets in the future. Our significant experience and capability in Nuclear and Offshore Wind supports a buoyant sector which together provide employment for well over 30,000 people in the County. Significant new growth can come from new developments in the next generation of new nuclear and wind energy, but also through small scale renewable energy projects, energy storage, carbon capture, development of our grid systems and other technologies.

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Panormaic photo of a construction site with workers in high-visibility jackets

Cumbria is home to some of the highest quality firms in the building sector, underpinned by the largest manufacturer of bricks in the UK. Cumbria’s unique rural qualities are reflected in our build and materials quality, and in the standards of Construction in our housing and business properties. The sector’s future growth prospects are intrinsically linked to the performance of the local and national economies; however, the construction sector plays an important role in generating additional economic activity.

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Creative & Cultural

Photo of interior of a museum with boats, planes and canvases

Creative Cumbria can legitimately claim to be ‘England’s Natural Capital of Creativity and Culture’ having the most protected land of any area in England. We have a huge appetite for showcasing the creative and cultural industries and a hugely attractive place in which to develop a new cultural opportunity. This sector contributes is so many ways to the heritage of our county and will shape our future vibrancy as an amazing place to live, work and play.

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Health & Social Care

Photo of a smiling female nurse walking on ward

The Health and Social Care Sector provides significant employment in the County with over 20,000 people currently employed in the Sector. Delivering across two healthcare footprints, the sector is driving significant innovation across Cumbria which will bring lifestyle and health benefits to our all our communities, supporting our largely rural, super-aging population.

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Photo of a female warehouse worker loading boxes onto a pallet

Logistics act as the supporting capability that “oil the wheels” of enterprise by the movement of people and goods, joining together clusters of business within and out with the region. Although a small sector Logistics enable value generation across the whole Cumbrian economy and can help us to gain maximum benefit from our strategic position to put Cumbria “on the map” at the heart of the UK to attract investment and enable growth of new opportunities.

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Professional Services

Photo of five people sitting at a desk in an modern office building

Professional Services represents a wide range of businesses that provide essential support to all sectors, from accountancy and legal services through to veterinary and education services, linked together by people who are skilled in key professions. The county hosts significant expertise with a strong tradition of family firms delivering high quality services that keep our businesses functioning.

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Wide angle photo of a tractor ploughing vast farmland

Our Rural community is central to our heritage and lifestyle, having shaped Cumbria over generations to be the unique landscape recognised by UNESCO. Our agricultural communities have never been a more important part of our economy and way of life, and will be set to significantly contribute to a low carbon future and overcome the effects of climate change.

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Photo of a beautiful red sunset on a Cumbrian river, with hillside in the distance

Visitor Economy

Tourism is a key economic activity for Cumbria. Hosting two UNESCO World Heritage sites, and two national parks within it’s borders, the county attracts 47 million visits per year bringing around £3 billion to Cumbria’s economy and supporting 38,000 FTE jobs within the Sector.

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