Working in Poundbury
As an urban extension to Dorchester, Poundbury is significantly contributing to the local economy. By the time of completion in 2026, the development is predicted to increase the local GVA (gross value added) by some £105m per year.
The latest business survey in 2022 found that over 2,600 people are working in 250 businesses. Integrating small workshop and retail spaces into larger blocks, has encouraged a range of small independent, artisan businesses to start up and thrive in Poundbury alongside more established professional services and industrial businesses. Many of the employers operating in Poundbury launched their businesses here and new ventures continue to open each year.
An example of an international business integrated within the community is Charbonnel Et Walker (formally House of Dorchester) based in Poundbury and with a global following. The original Dorchester based factory was expanded after being bought by Charbonnel et Walker, who then moved all production for the world-renowned company to the Poundbury site. The chocolates are now stocked all around the world, from the shelves of John Lewis, Waitrose, Selfridges, Liberty and Harrods to Olives Et Al in Poundbury, and as far as Macy’s in the United States.
The pioneering design and urban-planning of Poundbury has resulted in residents and businesses located in close proximity to one another. A number have started at the business incubator hub at Prospect House and then moved to bigger premises in Poundbury.
More than a third of the businesses are owned by female entrepreneurs, citing the quality of place and space available, affordable rates, ease of parking and the friendly nature of the community as reasons for choosing Poundbury. Many have been inspired to set up their own business from scratch and relocate to Poundbury. An eco-friendly shop, which launched in Poundbury selling reloved bridal dresses has now been franchised all over the UK and the owner continues her valuable contribution to the business community.
Family businesses have been the backbone of the UK economy for generations and Poundbury is no exception. A large number of the artisan and niche shops are run by two generations, or family partners and contribute richly to the business environment.
Projected benefits for the economy from the development include:
- Increased the local GVA (Gross Value Added) of £98 million per annum (predicted to be £105m per annum when completed in c2026).
- Established 1,630 full time equivalent jobs (1,760)
- In addition, by 2026 the construction phases will have delivered an increased GVA of some £236 million and 4,950 person-years of employment.