Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership

Dorset is centrally placed on the south coast of England. Dorset comprises a mixed agricultural landscape within the temperate climate of South West and is famous for its chalk steams, soft rolling hills and UNESCO World Heritage “Jurassic” coast. Dorchester is the county market town. Dorset has one airport, Bournemouth Airport and two ports; Port of Poole and Portland Port.

Dorset has a long, productive and proud tradition of farming that has shaped Dorset’s beautiful landscape. 77% of the land is farmed; the land use reflects upon the varied geology including arable farming on the rolling chalk hills and productive grass in the clay river valleys. Dorset dairy farming is of national importance providing significant quantities of milk for London and the South East. Beef and sheep grazing maintain the landscape. Wheat, barley and rape are the key arable crops grown. There are 2,241 commercial farm holdings in Dorset (8.8% of those found in the South West).

Dorset’s Agri-Tech sector is worth £108m, currently employing about 700, an important contributor to the South West’s Agri-Tech which is worth £1.03billion, currently employing about 3,800 with over 200 SMEs.