Wealden District Council
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Employment and Economic Study – Eastbourne and Wealden 2022

Wealden District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council worked jointly to commission Iceni Projects Ltd to undertake an Employment and Economic Study (2022) covering both Wealden District and Eastbourne Borough. For both Wealden and Eastbourne, the study identifies the Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) and provides forecasts for economic need (Use Class B2, B8 and formerly Use Class B1A (now Use Class E)) for the period up to 2039. The study also provides a summary of existing employment areas (in terms of supply) and economic development briefings for both authorities. This study can be downloaded below:

Wealden Town Centre Study 2022

Wealden District Council commissioned Nexus Planning and Aspinall Verdi to undertake a Town Centre Study that has been published in 2022. This report provides a baseline assessment for town centre development in Wealden District (particularly retail and leisure uses) including trends, a retail demand and needs assessment and health checks for each of the district’s main town/village centres including Hailsham, Uckfield, Crowborough, Heathfield, Polegate, Wadhurst and Forest Row. The report also provides options and recommendations for the local authority in terms of a town centre hierarchy, town centre boundaries, a town centre strategy and recommendations for local impact thresholds for the emerging Local Plan. This study (and appendices) can be downloaded below:

Furthermore, there have been additional documents published by the Council that relate to the economy, including the rural economy and tourism within Wealden District. These studies can be downloaded below:

The Visitor Accommodation Study 2023

Wealden District Council commissioned Hotel Solutions and Tourism South East to undertake a visitor accommodation study for Wealden District. The study’s main purpose is to provide an assessment of the status of visitor accommodation in Wealden District (including an audit of existing visitor accommodation) and the potential for visitor accommodation development for the Wealden Local Plan period. This study has been used to help inform and shape planning policies for tourism development (specifically, visitor accommodation development) in the new Local Plan. This study (and appendices) can be downloaded below:

The Economic Impact of Tourism on Wealden District

In addition, the Council also commissions a report on a yearly basis to examine the volume and value of tourism and the impact of visitor expenditure on the local economy. Below are the key results from our 2019 report (owing to Covid-19, the results in 2020 are not directly comparable to previous years).

  • 5 million day trips were undertaken
  • 47 million overnight visits
  • £301.8 million spent by tourists during their visit to the area
  • £25.15 million spent on average in the local economy every month
  • £214 million generated from day trips
  • £87.8 million generated by overnight visits
  • £368.75 million spent in the local area as a result of tourism (taking into account multiplier effects)
  • 8,743 jobs supported, both for local residents and from those living nearby
  • 7,511 tourism jobs directly supported
  • 1,232 non-tourism related jobs supported (linked to multiplier spend from tourism)
  • 2% of population employed as a result of tourism in Wealden District

If you wish to view the full document, our most recent report or previous Economic Impact reports please email economicdevelopment@wealden.gov.uk.