Building on the Confederation of Business Industries (CBI) 2020 report Reviving Regions, the CBI has provided new data and insights into the economic and social health of nine regions across the UK. This information is designed to support policy makers and businesses understand the unique strengths of regions to determine future investment opportunities that will allow places to revive and thrive.

To support policymakers and businesses understand our region's unique strengths and areas of focus for intervention, the CBI has included Dorset in the South West regional scorecard, from which a set of growth priorities has emerged. The priorities show the South West to be one of England’s most vibrant and diverse regions with strengths in cyber and defence, high value manufacturing and aerospace, creative and digital tourism and hospitality, fintech and maritime industries.

It is also noted that further work remains to be done if the South West is to reach its potential e.g. investment in digital and physical infrastructure alongside action to tackle the skills gap and that effective partnership working between public and private sectors will be essential.

Recommendations for the South West include:

  • Identify and close skills gaps within the local workforce and work collaboratively to develop the high-level skills required to meet future demand in growth sectors such as advanced engineering, digital and green technologies.
  • Improve digital infrastructure to facilitate new ways of working by meeting the target to deliver full fibre to 92% of homes and business in the South West by 2025.
  • Inspire world-class innovative businesses to invest in the South West by improving access to targeted business support and finance. Focus should be on low-carbon solutions and R&D, utilising our universities to support research and commercialisation, allowing businesses to respond to growth opportunities.

Download the South West regional score card below - Dorset specific information is on pages 11 and 12.


An earlier, Dorset-specific, scoreboard provides:

  • An economic overview of the UK and South West economy
  • The performance of regional LEPs
  • Components of the Dorset output gap
  • Scorecards for Dorset's key sectors.

Download the scorecard here