Business needs survey

Lyndhurst town centre

The New Forest Business Needs Survey was carried out in early 2014 to assess the levels of confidence within the local economy and identify areas where support and engagement could be targeted. It will also inform the planning policy process.

The survey was a joint initiative between New Forest District Council and the New Forest National Park Authority with the support of New Forest Business Partnership.

The survey shows that:

  • Overall business confidence appears strong looking forward and there seems to have been resilience to the economic downturn of the past five years.
  • Most businesses believe that their turnover will increase in the next five years (although this is not necessarily being shown in staff recruitment plans at this stage),
  • Businesses are largely content with the premises they are currently occupying but there is likely to be demand for more space within the next five years. The highest demand for this is identified to be within the coastal towns of the New Forest District.
  • The natural landscape and rural environment are seen as a great asset to many businesses, particularly those in the tourism industry.
  • Transport and communication infrastructure are identified as constraints.
  • There remains a need and want for business advice and training. Whilst much of this can be delivered online, there is in addition a wish for training to take place either in a group environment or on a one to one basis with a qualified business expert.

Read the full report.


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