Economic Development

Based on analysis of the district's economic challenges and opportunities, the Derbyshire Dales Economic Plan 2014-2019 [PDF 0.6MB] sets out the District Council's priorities to help enable the creation of more higher-value jobs in the Dales. The plan includes actions being undertaken by others which we will support, those we will need to undertake ourselves and the outcomes we are working towards over the next five years.

We support the Business Peak District partnership which aims to grow the Peak District economy. Our concordat [PDF 1.5MB] is available for viewing.

A few facts about the Derbyshire Dales

Derbyshire Dales is one of Britain's most scenic areas.  It includes much of the Peak District National Park and yet is situated within two hours drive of almost half the UK population.

This central location, superb environment and quality of life is attracting forward-looking small businesses which value the Peak District and Dales image.


  • 71,100

Area (square miles)

  • 69,800

Main Towns (Population)

  • Matlock 10,500
  • Ashbourne 7,500
  • Wirksworth 5,500
  • Bakewell 4,500

Rural Area

  • Over 100 villages


  • Nearly 4,200

Distance (miles) from Matlock

  • 10 Chesterfield
  • 18 Derby
  • 19 Sheffield
  • 25 Nottingham
  • 35 Manchester
  • 35 Stoke-on-Trent
  • 10 M1 (junction 28)
  • 40 M6 (junction 19)
  • 33 East Midlands Airport
  • 40 Manchester Airport

Rail Service

  • Matlock - Derby - Nottingham
  • Hope Valley (with connections to Manchester - Sheffield)


  • Over 5 million visitors per annum

What Derbyshire Dales Can Offer Your Business

  • One of Britain's premier scenic areas
  • Over half of the district is in the Peak District National Park

A central location

  • 3.5m people live within 30 miles of the heart of the Derbyshire Dales
  • The motorway network is within easy reach
  • There are 3 airports within a travel time of 1 hour
  • Rail services connect the district to Manchester, Derby, Nottingham and London

A special business environment

  • A clean and green image
  • The perfect living and working environment
  • Combines rural location with easy access to conurbations
  • Ideally suited to modern technology and environmentally aware business

A multi-skilled local workforce

  • 36% of the workforce holding degree level qualifications
  • Top quality secondary schools
  • A wide range of industrial and commercial activities, modern and traditional

Development opportunities

  • Sites for small to medium sized business
  • Town centre retail and office premises

Sheffield City Region

Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Statement of Accounts 2014-15 [PDF 1.41MB]

Economic Development

Town Hall, Bank Road
Tel: 01629 761 211
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