South East England Development Agency is Closing on March 31, 2012

The Government has announced that all Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), including SEEDA, will close by 31 March 2012.

Responsibility for economic development and regeneration in England is being passed onto successor bodies, including Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and central Government departments

Our objective is to ensure a professional and cost effective closure by this date.  We have pledged to work closely with our partners, contractors and stakeholders to ensure that the past and future economic benefits of key programmes and assets continue to deliver the greatest economic value for the South East and value for money for the taxpayer. 

Please click here for more details about our closure plan, transition arrangements and successor organisations.

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Our economy

The South East operates firmly within the global economy and compares favourably – our economy is larger than that of Singapore, Denmark or Greece. Our residents contributed £188Billion to the economy in 2007, second only to London in the UK.

In 2007 exports through the region were valued at £33Billion – the highest of all the UK regions. The South East also compares favourably with other English regions on indicators such as income, with household disposable income 9% above the national average. The South East of England and London are the only regions with incomes above the UK national average.

In broad terms the South East economy can be categorised as being advanced, high-income, highly skilled, broadly-based and service-oriented. Strong financial sectors exist in Surrey, Berkshire and Kent. Further centres of expertise exist in Brighton – with a digital industries cluster, and around Oxford with a hi-tech manufacturing cluster.

The South East economy provides more than 4 million jobs and the labour market is holding up relatively well during the recession. The employment rate of the South East has remained the highest, and the employment rate the highest, of any region throughout the recession so far.. Counties in the South East report some of the highest percentages of 25-64 year olds with tertiary education. Parts of the south East have some of the highest proportions of working age people educated to degree level in the UK.

Entrepreneurialism flourishes - business start-up rates are the second highest after London and survival rates are high at 73.1%. The renowned entrepreneur Peter Jones, of BBC’s Dragons’ Den fame, recently chose Aylesbury in the South East as the location for his National Enterprise Academy.

The region boasts one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the UK with 320,000 employees. They produce innovative, high value products and cutting-edge technologies that deliver solutions to both local and global problems such as climate change, security, assisted living and healthcare.

Whilst experiencing the worst economic recession in our working lifetimes, SEEDA’s economic reports suggest the pace of decline in the South East is slowing. Over two thirds of businesses are confident that the climate will improve or remain stable over the next 12 months.

For more information please browse the following publications:

South East Economy Reviews

Monthly Regional Intelligence Snapshots of the South East