Peterborough’s economy

Peterborough has a diverse and robust economy. From innovative SMEs to large global headquarters, our local companies are pushing the bounds of innovation and sustainability, and they’re growing.

With five high performing business sectors – advanced engineering & manufacturing, agri-tech, food & drink, digital & creative, energy & environment and financial services – Peterborough fares well during national and global economic downturns with increased investor confidence underpinned by the city’s ambitions and new initiatives to support economic growth.

We’re one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, rank highly for our high level of business start-ups and innovation. Although we’re soon to be less than 40 minutes from London by train, we offer some of the country’s most competitive land, property and workforce costs! The confidence in the local economy has been endorsed by a number of new arrivals such as, Lidl, which opened its largest UK warehouse here in 2020, URBN Outfitters, spice manufacturers, McCormick’s, even Hilton Garden Inn and the government are investing here. Click here for a round up of 2020 investments and economic highlights.


Within our population of over 200,000 we have a slightly younger demographic profile in comparison to the UK and Eastern region, with 40% of the population aged 29 and under compared with 37% in the UK and 35% in the East. Peterborough also has a lower proportion of people aged 65+ in comparison to the regional and national averages.

Peterborough has a diverse and multicultural community with our population made up of around 14% non-white British compared to 13% in England and 7% in the region. Local residents benefit from an excellent house-price-to-earnings ratio. Property is attractive, affordable and plentiful and we also have one of the highest ratios of green space per person in the UK.

Peterborough in numbers

  • Population of 202,300 and a retail catchment of over 1,000,000¹
  • 61.7% of residents are of working age (c.124,800)¹
  • An economic activity rate of 79.5%¹
  • 7,525 VAT registered businesses¹
  • Gross Value Added: £6,607m (2018)²
  • Median gross weekly pay of £543.60¹
  • Peterborough is an affordable place to live and do business with a house price/earnings ratio of 7.16²
  • Average cost of Grade A office space is currently around £13.50 per sqft³
  • Cost of prime industrial space costs an average of £6.50 per sqft³

Updated January 2021


For more about our city’s robust economy, visit Invest in Peterborough or get in touch with Opportunity Peterborough.


Previous reports

Peterborough economic intelligence report – January 2019

Peterborough economic intelligence report – December 2017

Peterborough economic intelligence report – October 2016

Peterborough economic intelligence report – October 2015

Peterborough economic intelligence report – April 2015