Economic Context

Shropshire is one of the most sparsely populated local authorities in the country, with less than 1 person per hectare (compared to 4 per hectare for the rest of England). But against this environment it is more time consuming to travel to and from work.

It is a small business economy and there are a high number of self-employed people in the county. There is also more “outward” commuting than “inward” commuting.

The 2015 population estimate was 311,400, and it is worth noting that in general, social deprivation is not high, other than small pockets.

Car dependency is high, with only 15.8% of households not in car ownership (compared with 24.7% in the West Midlands). Some 70.5% of the working population commute by car, and in 2011, only 3.3% of workers used public transport.

Counting the benefits in jobs

We believe that the economic benefits of a mixed use development could equate to an estimated significant increase in the number of available jobs in the Gorge, for instance:

  • Research and development – circa 4000 to 5000
  • Hotels/hospitality – 500 to 600
  • Leisure retail – 300 to 600
  • Railway (services/engineering) – 150