# Business and jobs
There has been a modest increase in the number of businesses in the Peak District. Agricultural businesses account for a third of businesses and traditionally strong sectors in the Peak District continue to demonstrate employment growth. Businesses across the Peak District National Park do tend to be relatively small, with >99% classed as micro or small businesses, with considerably fewer employees than national averages.
# 2% increase in the number of local business units
There were 3,545 active local business units located within the Peak District National Park in 2020. An increase of 2% or an extra 75 local business units between 2016 and 2020. This is slower growth than the UK as a whole, which saw a 6% growth in enterprise count, but in line with English national park growth (2%) in the number of local business units.
There were 3,190 business enterprises in the Peak District during 2020. Enterprise here refers to an overall business, which can be made up of individual sites or workplaces, also known as local units. A local business unit analysis may in turn more accurately reflect the true nature of the local business economy in the Peak District.
# 1,000 business start-ups a year in the wider Peak District
The business enterprise start-up rate of the wider Peak District was 9.3% in 2019, below that of the UK as whole (12.9%), as well as the East Midlands (13.0%) and Derbyshire (10.6%). This equated to 1,100 new enterprises being registered across the wider Peak District area during 2019.
A total of 1,085 enterprises went out of business across the wider Peak District during 2019. This equated to a ‘death’ rate of businesses within the wider Peak District of 9.2%. This fares favourably when compared to business ‘death’ rates regionally across the East Midlands (10.4%) and Derbyshire (9.4%), as well as nationally across the UK (11.2%) over the same period .
Deaths of Enterprises for 2015 to 2019
# At least 1 in 3 businesses in the Peak District are in the agricultural, forestry and fishing industries.
Almost one third (30%) of all local business units located in the Peak District are associated with the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries, 1,065 in total. We know from the DEFRA agricultural census that there are over 3,000 farm businesses in the Peak District, so the numbers are much higher than is reflected in ONS IDBR data.
Percent share of PDNP Business Count by Broad Industry Group: 2020 ONS IDBR
# Changes in employment by industry group
The largest annual employment growth occurred in the arts, entertainment, recreation and other services industry where employment grew by nearly a quarter (24%) between 2016 and 2020, providing an extra 747 jobs.
Employment numbers fell across the Peak District in other industry groups over the same period, including finance (-35%) and health (-21%). With low numbers of employment and employees with redacted information from ONS, it is difficult to see trends from the information provided. For instance, one loss or gain of business could show a large percentage change without showing a true long term trend in the data.
One in five jobs (3,944) within the Peak District National Park are within accommodation and food services, whith a share (23%) of all employment during 2020.
# Nearly 100% of Peak District businesses are SME
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are businesses employing fewer than 250 people. Businesses in England’s national parks tend to be relatively small, employing just over half the number of employees compared to the average business nationally.
The majority of local business units within the Peak District are classified as micro-businesses, 3,140 in total (89%). This is the same for rural areas across the UK and national parks in England.
Count, employment and employees of VAT and/or PAYE based local units in the national parks of England by employment size band 2020
|Variable||PDNP: Count||PDNP: %||NPE:Count||NPE: %|
|0-9 Micro: Count||3,140||89%||24,495||88%|
|0-9 Micro: Employment||7,528||39%||59,772||36%|
|0-9 Micro: Employees||5,295||31%||44,408||30%|
|10-49 Small: Count||360||10%||2,995||11%|
|10-49 Small: Employment||7,003||36%||58,171||35%|
|10-49 Small: Employees||6,897||41%||57,181||38%|
|50-249 Medium: Count||40||1%||365||1%|
|50-249 Medium: Employment||..C||..C||33,578||20%|
|50-249 Medium: Employees||..C||..C||33,546||22%|
|250+ Large: Count||5||0%||30||0%|
|250+ Large: Employment||..C||..C||14,248||9%|
|250+ Large: Employees||..C||..C||14,248||10%|
Rural SMEs on average have lower annual turnover, but are more likely to be profitable. On average 79.3% of rural firms recorded a profit compared to 76.4% of urban firms. Rural SMEs also tend to have higher levels of untapped potential for growth, as well being more likely to access external finance. However, rural SMEs also have weaknesses in comparison. Urban firms are more likely to expand their workforce as well as achieve higher levels of innovation. Across the East Midlands, almost double the levels of new innovation were found amongst urban SMEs when compared to rural firms across the same region .
It is also estimated that across England there are an additional 2.7 million unregistered businesses, i.e. those who are not VAT registered and do not have employees registered for PAYE. These unregistered businesses are estimated to provide employment for 2.9 million people and are likely to be mainly one-person traders .
ONS: Business Demography Statistics 2018, Count of Births, Deaths and Active Enterprises: https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/bulletins/businessdemography/2019 ↩︎
ONS: Small Rural Firms in English Regions: Analysis and Key findings from UK Longitudinal Small Business Survey, 2015 p6 ↩︎
ONS: UK business; activity, size and location: 2019 ↩︎