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National park economies on the up

Businesses in England's national parks contribute as much to the economy as the UK textiles industry
Catbells in the Lake District National Park

An analysis of economic data for National Parks England has shown that, between 2012 and 2016, the Gross Value Added (GVA) of national park economies grew from £1.4 to £2.4bn.

This economic growth has seen a 10% increase in the number of businesses in national parks, as well as more than 21,000 jobs having been created.

£5.5-8.7bn economic contribution

The National Parks, National Assets infographic (right), published by National Parks England, highlights the scale of the economic contribution from national parks and some of the special qualities that support these rural economies.

In total, businesses in the English national parks contribute between £5.5 to 8.7bn to the economy – equivalent to the UK textiles industry or a city the size of Coventry.

Social and economic wellbeing

National park authorities have a duty ‘to seek to foster the social and economic wellbeing of the local communities within the national park in pursuit of their purposes’. These economic data indicate that national park Authorities are successfully delivering on this duty.

Emma Marrington, senior rural policy campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said it’s ‘great’ to see national parks doing so well. She added that these thriving rural economies ‘are what we’d like to see happening in all rural areas’.

‘This evidence shows that the right balance can be struck between high quality landscapes and a successful rural economy, benefiting communities that live and work in National Parks. I hope that the policies and practices that are providing such positive results within National Parks can be replicated in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other rural areas across the country.’

Senior rural policy campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England

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