Working in Cornwall and a bit about the Cornish Economy

For the same reasons that holiday makers flood to Cornwall during the summer, locals enjoy all the benefits of living and working in Cornwall all year round. The atmosphere and lifestyle of Cornwall makes it a great place to live. 

  • Stunning countryside including Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Strong cultural identity and folklore
  • Historic landscapes
  • Heritage
  • Strong local communities
  • Festivals
  • Sandy beaches
  • World-class watersports
  • Outdoor activities
  • Coastal lifestyle
  • Inspirational surroundings 


It provides the means to have a rewarding life/work balance with businesses that appreciate the beauty of that balance.  

Although Cornwall is an inspirational area with many beautiful reasons to live here, some people might not know that Cornwall boasts a dynamic and thriving business community. There is an abundance of innovative, creative, characterful enterprises which makes Cornwall a fantastic place to  develop a career.

Part of the beauty of working in Cornwall are the chances you get to work with these innovative unique businesses and embracing the opportunities where you could thrive.  If you are thinking of moving to the county, our top tip is to keep your options open when looking for specific opportunities.  A significant thing to bear in mind when looking for work in remote and romantic Cornwall is transport and being aware of how you would get to different job locations. You do not want to miss out on a fantastic job opportunity because it is based in a more remote location. If you need to rely on public transport there are certain hubs where it would be more practical to live as some remote locations have very infrequent public transport routes. 

The business community

When job seeking in any area of the country it is important to understand the business community in the region as this information will help inform your search and applications. This is especially true of Cornwall as it may differ from the networks in much more compact areas like London, as it is a slightly more remote part of the country which consists of lots of growing small and medium sized businesses.

Funding is an important part of business growth in Cornwall. European funding has injected millions of pounds into developing Cornwall’s physical infrastructure, as well as running projects to stimulate economic regeneration, bringing about wealth creation, jobs and prosperity for the local population.

Alongside our own EU funded work in supporting business and the growth of jobs in the county there are a range of projects and organisations in place to continually help develop the Cornish business community.

Check out the video Invest in Cornwall produced to showcase just some of the fantastic businesses in the Cornwall business community.


The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) drives activity to support business growth, create jobs and help people realise their potential. They are led by local business people working together with Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly to set the priorities for how our economy should grow. Their role is to oversee how best to invest over £1 billion of public, private and European funds in the local economy by 2020.  The LEP Board has recently led on an ambitious economic plan for the Cornish region called Vision 2030.

This continued effort to grow and reinvest money into the region is what has helped create the thriving business community. Cornwall also boasts a networking scene which is second to none, with a thriving Chamber of Commerce that leads the way, alongside a wide range of networks for people with many different interests, too numerous to name in this article alone. Head over to LinkedIn and do some research in your area of interest to get a flavour of what you could get involved in. 

As for the Cornish Economy, it is useful as a job seeker to know the current state of the economy and what to expect in terms of employment rates and salary average. Cornwall Council provides a great overview of the state of the economy that is worth reading. For a brief summary we have compiled some of the information below from their overview in 2017. 


It is important to be aware of what to expect from your salary when looking for jobs in Cornwall. It will help put the jobs in context of the area so you can assess whether that salary is right for you and the living costs of the location. Full-time employment salaries are actually similar to the rest of the country which is great news for people wanting to develop their career in the county and experience all the lifestyle benefits.

In 2016 Cornish average annual earnings were at £17,873 per annum.

Above average levels of part-time employment factor into this average. If Cornwall had the same share of full time employees as the UK average, earnings could be 6.5% higher.

Workplace earnings are also influenced by sector share. Cornwall has an above average percentage of people working in ‘distribution, hotels & restaurants’, 24.2% compared to the UK average of 18.5%.

Employment rate

Employment rates are on the rise in Cornwall in the past couple of years after the recession which is positive news for all job seekers. 

Numbers in work fell during the recession and its aftermath though recently saw an upturn. After plateauing around 242,000 from 2013 to 2015, numbers have now risen to 247,700. The long term trend is upward.


Since 2013 there have been gains in the number of businesses with more start-ups than closures indicating a more buoyant economy.

Cornwall is full of interesting businesses with great support for new start-up businesses.  Start up and smaller businesses are very different to work for compared to larger organisations.  Below are some of the things to consider when applying to smaller businesses.

  • Networking is more important to create contacts in the vast network of smaller businesses. As smaller businesses are normally more personal it is great to get involved and see what types of businesses are growing in the region.
  • The recruitment process might be more informal and individual to the specific company as they are smaller and potentially new to recruitment.
  • Smaller businesses will likely place more importance on team fit than skills and experience as you will be working within a much smaller team and are likely to have a more integral role in the business.
  • There is the possibility of gaining much more varied experience in a business that is growing alongside you.


What you will find in Cornwall are a group of friendly, authentic and driven individuals who have chosen to make Cornwall their home. People who come here don’t look back and people who grew up here want to return – what more do you need to know?

Register  |  Login

European Union - European Regional Development Fund