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South Lakeland

Key features of the economy

  • The third largest settlement in Cumbria and South Lakeland’s largest town, Kendal, has a population of around 28,000 (27% of that of South Lakeland). Its sphere of influence extends across the whole of the district, as the main centre for shopping, culture, health, education and employment
  • Highest concentration of highly skilled/qualified population in Cumbria, and of business start-up
  • Strong higher education offer; Kendal College and the closest area to Lancaster University Traditionally a manufacturing district and there is still important advanced manufacturing activity that takes place there, particularly in Kendal (James Cropper, Gilkes) and Ulverston (GSK, Siemens Subsea)
  • Tourism, and to a lesser extent agriculture, are of importance, particularly towards the two national parks. The area gets the heaviest volume of tourism in Cumbria due to its accessibility

Opportunities and threats

  • South Lakeland has one of the best strategic locations in Cumbria with good road and rail links southwards to London and Manchester and it is well connected to Lancaster, Barrow, central Lake District, and to a lesser extent the Yorkshire Dales in the east
  • The area has perhaps the greatest concentration of creative sector employment, assets and activity in Cumbria and potentially scope to grow this sector
  • There are successful examples of new spaces for creative businesses
  • Housing is however relatively unaffordable in South Lakeland, especially in the areas in or closest to the national parks, and congestion and lack of sites is an issue

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