The Plymouth Charter started as part of Plymouth’s Covid-19 Economic Recovery Programme, developed and co-created by Plymouth City Council and economic stakeholders in the private sector. As signatories to the Charter, businesses commit to a fairer, greener future for Plymouth.

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About the Plymouth Charter

The Plymouth Charter, which is free for businesses to sign up to, focuses on our SUCCEED themes to ask businesses to commit to: Spend, Upskill, Community, Collaborate, Employ, Environment and Deliver.

Plymouth has a growing population of over 263,000 people, and a pre-Covid economic output of £5.2 billion and thus is the most significant urban area on the South West peninsula.  Ensuring that the economy works for everyone means businesses working together to provide fair, flexible work opportunities, developing and upskilling individuals to access high value jobs, supporting community activities, having a positive impact on the environment and supporting local businesses by buying locally to benefit our City.

Currently, the economy doesn't provide equal opportunities for everyone:

  • The gender pay gap in Plymouth is 13.2%. However, approximately 40% of employed women in Plymouth earn below a wage equivalent to the  national minimum weekly wage of £340

  • Of all people economically active in Plymouth, 24% compared to 19.2% nationally are not in work due to caring responsibilities (an additional 8,600 people)

  • Plymouth performs poorly in terms of business density, start-up and survival rates when comparing ourselves to the UK average. Our business birth rate is 57.6 business births per 10,000 working age population compared to 85.5 in the UK (2020) and 35.4% of businesses survive after 5 years compared to 39.6% for the UK (survival rate of born enterprises 2015-2020)

  • The City lags behind significantly on higher level qualifications i.e. NVQ level 4 and above (37.7 per cent compared to 43.5 per cent nationally) 2021. However, 64% of Plymouth’s key stage 2 pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths combined – this is one percentage points below the national average, and 78% of Plymouth key stage 2 pupils achieved the expected standard in maths – also one percentage point below the national average

  • Skills gaps and businesses report difficulties in recruiting to specialist roles e.g. engineering jobs

The Charter was developed by the Inclusive Growth Group, a flagship of the Plymouth Growth Board, comprising of representatives from Plymouth Social Enterprise Network, Real Ideas Organisation, Seetec Pluss, University of Plymouth, Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Octopus Project. The challenges within the Charter have been created following collaboration with the wider business community to enable as many organisations as possible to see how they can commit.


The Plymouth Charter wants to see Plymouth as a beautiful place to live and work and emphasise why the City is the most significant economic centre in the southwest peninsula and the largest urban area in the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.

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