Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

Rural Employment

2.11 With a large proportion of South Somerset's population living outside of Yeovil the way in which the District's Market Towns and Rural Centres act as focal points for local employment and services, and their significance to the economy, should not be underestimated. Whilst each of the identified Market Towns and Rural Centres has a unique set of characteristics each offers opportunities to build upon their complementary role as service and employment centres for their surrounding rural area. In addition, with the increasing technology now available, many people are able to work from home. Somerset is one of the locations which will benefit from the rollout of superfast broadband by 2015 for at least 85% of homes and businesses in mainly rural parts of the County.[1]

2.12 The smaller settlements in South Somerset vary widely in function and size, but generally are places that provide limited local services. These settlements often have a strong sense of community but these conditions also pose challenges in terms of their economic provision of services, jobs and facilities. This pattern of settlements, and their social and economic relationships with each other, presents a real challenge in providing good quality jobs and service provision across such a diverse area.

2.13 Tourism is also an important factor with 5% of local employment in this sector[2]. The District has a wealth of environmental, industrial and cultural heritage with a varied landscape much valued by the residents. There are a number of visitor attractions within the District including museums, historic properties and an enviable natural environment all of which are a great draw to visitors.

1. 'Connecting Devon and Somerset' project with government grant to Devon and Somerset County Councils, supported by Districts to rollout broadband within the two Counties [back]
2. Value of Tourism 2010, South West Tourism Alliance 2011 [back]