Economy of Wiltshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The economy of Wiltshire in South West England was worth £16.392 billion to the UK economy in 2013.


The Wiltshire economy benefits from the "M4 corridor effect", which attracts business, and the attractiveness of its countryside, towns and villages. The northern part of the county is richer than the southern part, particularly since Swindon is home to national and international corporations such as Honda, Intel, Motorola, Patheon, Catalent (formerly known as Cardinal Health), Becton-Dickinson, WHSmith, Early Learning Centre and Nationwide, with Dyson located in nearby Malmesbury. Wiltshire's employment structure is distinctive in having a significantly higher number of people in various forms of manufacturing (especially electrical equipment and apparatus, food products, and beverages, furniture, rubber, pharmaceuticals, and plastic goods) than the national average.

In addition, there is higher-than-average employment in public administration and defence, due to the military establishments around the county, particularly around Amesbury and Corsham. There are sizeable British Army barracks at Tidworth, Bulford and Warminster, and the Royal School of Artillery is at Larkhill. Further north, RAF Lyneham was home to the RAF's Hercules C130 fleet until 2011; the MoD Lyneham site is now a centre for Army technical training. Wiltshire is also distinctive for the high proportion of its working-age population who are economically active (86.6% in 1999–2000) and its low unemployment rates. The gross domestic product (GDP) level in Wiltshire did not reach the UK average in 1998, and was only marginally above the rate for South West England.[1]


A largely rural county, agriculture has historically dominated the economy.


Avon Protection, formerly Avon Rubber, makes personal protection equipment for defence and industry near Melksham;[2] the company's Avon Tyres business at Melksham was sold to Cooper Tire & Rubber in 1993. Until the late 20th century, rubber parts for railways and other industries were also made nearby at Bradford-on-Avon.[3] The engineer Alex Moulton specialised in rubber suspension systems, and a factory at Bradford-on-Avon still makes small-wheel bicycles under the Moulton brand.[4]

An Arla creamery at Westbury makes Anchor butter.[5] Nearby, Welton Bibby & Baron claim to be the UK's largest manufacturer of paper bags and similar goods.[6]

The Honda car plant near Swindon closed in July 2021 after 36 years.[7] 3,000 jobs were lost.[8]


The summer solstice at Stonehenge

The World Heritage Site of Stonehenge is on Salisbury Plain in southern Wiltshire. The site is considered a British cultural icon[9] and attracts many New Age travellers.


  1. ^ "Wiltshire Strategic Analysis (2002)" (PDF). Wiltshire CPRE. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 June 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2006.
  2. ^ Kilgannon, Laurence (25 May 2021). "Strong start as Avon Rubber reveals proposed new name". Insider Media Ltd. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  3. ^ "George Spencer, Moulton and Co". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Heritage". Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  5. ^ "Butter". Arla Foods. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Welton Bibby & Baron". Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Swindon Honda closure date 'set in stone'". BBC News. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Swindon Honda plant closes down with loss of 3000 jobs". ITV News. 30 July 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  9. ^ Scott, Julie; Selwyn, Tom (2010). Thinking Through Tourism. Berg. p. 191.

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