Economic Profile of South Bucks
South Bucks District is bordered by London (Hillingdon) to the east, Slough to the south, Maidenhead to the west and High Wycombe to the north west. Principally it is a rural district, wholly within the Metropolitan Green Belt around London.
87% of the district is specifically allocated as Green Belt. Areas not so designated are the larger settlements, which include Beaconsfield, Burnham, Gerrards Cross, Farnham Common, Iver and Stoke Poges. Other settlements are smaller and more rural. There are a number of industrial and business areas in South Bucks including The Ridgeway, Bison and Court Lane industrial estates in Iver, Broadwater Park in Denham, Sefton Park in Stoke Poges, Uxbridge Business Park and Wexham Springs.
In terms of transport links, the M4, M25, and M40 all cross the District. There are good rail links to London and many other parts of the country, and Heathrow Airport is situated to the south east. The population of the District is highly mobile as just over half of all households have access to at least two cars. Only 11.1% of households in 2011 did not have a car, with 11.2% of households having three cars and 5.3% with four cars, ranking topmost in the country for households with three or four cars.
South Bucks is within an area which has one of the lowest unemployment rates in England. Consistently low levels of unemployment can have certain implications for the economy. Issues such as labour short ages and skills mismatches are of concern.
The ONS 2014 mid-year population for South Bucks was 68,560 and the household figure in March 2015 is 28,364. Of the 2011 resident population, about 33,117 were in employment. There were 31,000 jobs in the District of which about 20,000 were held by people who commuted into South Bucks for work. About 23,000 residents commuted out of the District for work. These commuters included more than 9,500 into Greater London. Of all commuters, about 3,260 travelled by train or tube. About 20,500 were car drivers.
There are more than 5,000 businesses in South Bucks district, with 90% employing up to nine employees. Only 0.5% employ more than 250 people. Major employers in South Bucks include the following:
- Martin Baker Aircraft, an aerospace engineering company in Denham
- Pinewood Studios and associated companies involved in film production in Iver. There are also small to medium companies at the Media Park in Denham, and the National Film and Television school in Beaconsfield
- Robert Bosch, an electrical goods importer/distributor in Denham
- Hitachi Data Systems and Tivoli Systems UK Ltd, electronic and IT companies in Stoke Poges
The number of people working from home increased from 3,960 in 2001 to 5,211 in 2011. In terms of skills, 19% of the working population are in managerial positions and 21% are in professionals or associated occupations.
As South Bucks is a district within the Thames Valley it is recognised that we need to play a part in the wider economy of the area, and we do this via the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.
Tourist Attractions in South Bucks
There are a variety of tourist attractions in the District. Within South Bucks there are the historic houses of Cliveden and Dorney Court with their impressive gardens. Other attractions include Bekonscot Model Village & Railway at Beaconsfield and Odds Farm Park. There are also several country areas for visitors to enjoy such as Burnham Beeches, Black Park, Langley Park and Denham Country Park and other smaller nature reserves and woodlands. In terms of sports facilities there area number of golf courses in the District including two 'pay and play' courses. The Authority has three sports facilities, the Beacon Centre,the Evreham Sports Centre at Iver Heath and the Farnham Park all-weather area. Angling clubs and a waterski clubs operate on lakes in the Colne Valley Regional Park. The Eton / Dorney Rowing Lake, constructed by Eton College, has been selected to host the rowing events for the 2012 London Olympics, and is available to host other international rowing events from time to time.
These attractions provide employment for local people such as park wardens and create spin offs for local shops and cafes. Therefore the attractions are important to the viability of the local economy and they give impetus to the importance of protecting the Green Belt, not just for residents but for visitors too.