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The ‘Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009’ places a statutory duty upon all upper tier and unitary authorities to complete a Local Economic Assessment (LEA) of their area. In April 2010, the Government introduced statutory guidance for undertaking LEAs. The duty for local authorities to produce an LEA remains in place, but the statutory guidance has been removed, allowing local authorities to determine the breadth and scope of their assessments based on local needs. The freedom to define the scope of our own LEA is an opportunity to produce a flexible resource to inform the work we do.

The three previous LEAs produced for Somerset (2011, 2013 & 2016) were standard document-type publications, updated every few years to remain as current and “fit-for-purpose” as possible. However, from 2019 the format has changed, with the data and analyses published on this website now fulfilling the function of Somerset’s LEA.

This online format makes use of new technology and software to present data in a more attractive and interactive way, as well as allowing users to ‘drill-down’ and interrogate the data for their own purposes. Crucially, data can also be kept as ‘live’ as possible, with regular (and in some case automatic) updates of local, regional and national statistical data.

At the same time, the website serves the purpose of providing a broader repository of data and analyses relating to the Somerset economy, which can be accessed and interrogated by economic development partners and stakeholders, as well as Somerset’s residents.

Please Note: It is common for there to be yearly or even two-yearly time lags in the publication of national statistical data. Moreover, a lot of this data is only released annually and at different times of the year. Through regular updates, all efforts are made to ensure that the data re/published here is the latest available, but due to the time taken to process data there will occasionally be delays in publishing new data.