The Breckland district is one of seven districts in Norfolk and is located centrally in the county, extending over an area of 1,300sqkm (500 square miles). The district includes the five towns of Attleborough, Dereham, Swaffham, Thetford and Watton, together with a wide range of other settlements. Breckland is a predominantly rural district with a population of over 140,000, living within 112 parishes. The District is served by the A11 and A47 trunk roads and the towns of Attleborough and Thetford have direct and frequent rail links into Norwich and Cambridge.

Breckland is one of the economic gateways to Norfolk, within travelling distance to the major university research and developments centres in Cambridge and Norwich.

Breckland District sits within the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and as such will benefit from the planned £300 million investment in the Norfolk and Suffolk economies, within the current Strategic Economic Plan 2014 to 2020.

Key Employment Sectors

The top five employment sectors in the district are manufacturing, retail, health, business administration and education. 

  • Breckland has the highest proportion of people employed in manufacturing of the county's districts, at 16.1 per cent. This compares with the county rate of 10.7 per cent.
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing is a more dominant employee sector in Breckland than it is in Norfolk overall, employing 4.6 per cent across the district compared with the 2.8 per cent average within the county.
  • Both wholesale and transport and storage are more dominant employment sectors in Breckland than they are in any of the other Norfolk districts, regionally and nationally. The combined sectors employ 11 per cent of people in the district, a third higher than their combined proportions at county level, a tenth higher than at regional level and 16 per cent more than the national proportions.

Local Units and Average Employment

The most dominant sector in terms of local units is construction, with 15 per cent of local units in the district. Other dominant sectors include retail (10.8 per cent) and professional, scientific and technical (10.6 per cent).  

Large Employers

The proportion of businesses in Breckland employing 10 or fewer people are 86.4 per cent. The proportion of businesses in Breckland employing less than 50 people are currently 97.4 per cent. 2.6 per cent of businesses in the district employ 50 or more people. This proportion is higher than Broadland, North Norfolk and South Norfolk.

Economic Activity

Breckland district's economic activity rate is 82.3 per cent compared to 80.2 per cent regionally and 77.7 per cent in England as a whole.

The employment rate in Breckland is 86.5 per cent compared to 76.8 per cent in the East of England and 73.4 per cent in England as a whole. A greater proportion of employees are in full-time employment in the district than in any other district in the county

Locating your business in Breckland

Breckland Council offers a full support service for businesses looking for a flexible but economical location across all major sectors. The improved connectively of the A11 dual carriageway coupled with our location midway between the major research centres in Cambridge and Norwich are just two reasons to consider locating in our beautiful district.

We can provide support on land and premises availability, planning advice and connection to local developers as appropriate to your needs.

As a first step, please email us

Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor

The Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor will create over £500 million of innovation-led growth, investment in infrastructure, housing and skills. We have all the ingredients for the growth: emerging sectors, low cost space, infrastructure (including the recent dualling of A11), networks and a fast growing economy. Our world-class universities, research institutes and long established tech businesses have created a knowledgeable talent pool, motivated to stay in the East to enjoy a better quality of life.

Visit Cambridge Norwich Test Corridor for more information.

Norfolk and Suffolk Unlimited

Norfolk and Suffolk Unlimited logoBreckland Council is a partner in the Norfolk and Suffolk Unlimited initiative, which was developed by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. The counties have world-leading clusters in clean energy, ICT and technology, digital creatives and agri-food, plus superb transport connections and a quality of life for employees. Find out more about local opportunities and support available at Norfolk Suffolk Unlimited website

Last updated: 21/11/2022 10:06:33