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Economy of Cornwall


Dec 15, 2021

The economy of Cornwall in South West England, is largely dependent upon agriculture followed by tourism. Cornwall is one of the poorest areas in the United Kingdom with a GVA of 70.9% of the national average in 2015.[1] and is one of four UK areas that qualified for poverty-related grants from the EU (European Social Fund).[2] Farming and food processing (in 2006) contributed £366 million to the county, equal to 5.3% of Cornwall’s total GVA.[3] The agricultural/food industry in Cornwall employs 9,500 people, (4.9% of all Cornish employees.) 23,700 (12.1% of all Cornish employees) are employed in the food industry in Cornwall[4][3] The Cornish economy also depends heavily on its successful tourist industry which contributes 12% of Cornwall’s GDP[5] and supports about 1 in 5 jobs (19% in Kerrier, Restormel and Scilly, 24% in Penwith, 23% in North Cornwall, 22% in Carrick and 14% in Caradon).[6] Tourism contributed £1.85 billion to the Cornish economy in 2011.[5]

regional economy

This article’s factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (June 2012)
The Eden Project, constructed in a used kaolin pit
An advertisement produced by the Great Western Railway

. . . Economy of Cornwall . . .

An updated (Jan 2013) overview of the Cornish economy can be found here [7]

Year Regional Gross Value Added[8] Agriculture[9] Industry[10] Services[11]
1995 3,230 235 813 2,182
2000 4,245 198 1,021 3,027
2003 5,401 221 1,195 3,985
Padstow harbour and quayside
Cattle being raised in Penwith
A herd of cattle near Camelford

Cornwall’s unique culture, spectacular landscape and mild climate make it a popular tourist destination, despite being somewhat distant from the United Kingdom’s main population centres. Surrounded by the Celtic Sea and English Channel, Cornwall has miles of beaches and cliffs. Other tourist attractions include moorland, country gardens and wooded valleys, and tourism is a significant sector of the economy.

In 2003, five million tourists were visiting Cornwall each year, mostly drawn from within the UK,[12] making up around a quarter of the economy. In particular, Newquay is a popular destination for surfers. In 2004 the Eden Project near St Austell was considered to be a major financial success, drawing one in eight of Cornwall’s visitors,[13] though in 2007 it lost its bid to receive an extra £50m lottery grant (for a major expansion) in a public vote.[14] The Eden Trust revealed a trading loss of £1.3 million for 2012-13,on a turnover of £25.4 million. The Eden Project had posted a surplus of £136,000 for the previous year. In 2014 Eden accounts showed a surplus of £2 million.[15]

Visitors to Cornwall are served by Newquay Airport (at St Mawgan) and formerly by Plymouth City Airport, whilst private jets, charters and helicopters are also served by Perranporth airfield; nightsleeper and daily rail services run between Cornwall, London and other regions of the UK.

The Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape, which includes select mining landscapes across Cornwall and West Devon, has been a World Heritage Site since July 2006.[16]

Spending by tourists (from overseas) within Cornwall and Scilly brought £128 million to the area in 2013, while internal overnight trips to the area from other areas of the UK brought £1.15 billion, internal day visits brought £745 million.[17]

. . . Economy of Cornwall . . .

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. . . Economy of Cornwall . . .