Although the aggregates industry is not a large employer (about 50 000) it has, however, a high productivity with a high Gross Value Added (GVA) per employee compared with other rural activities, such as in agriculture and forestry, or indeed UK manufacturing as a whole. GVA represents the enhancement in value added to a product or service by a company before the product is offered to customers. The GVA of an industry is the sum of all the value added by individual companies in that industry. The GVA per employee is the GVA divided by the number of people employed in the industry. GVA is important since it represents wealth created by a company to pay salaries, wages and pensions to employees, dividends to shareholders, interest to lenders of capital, taxes to government and to fund development of the business. Moreover, the aggregate industry requires a diversity of skills therefore creating much needed skilled jobs in the rural economy.
Sustainable development requires that the environmental impacts of aggregate extraction be balanced against the economic advantages of the proposed development. The economic merits of a particular case may be considered under criteria classified as;
- local economic benefits, and
- wider economic benefits.
Sustainable and continuous supply of aggregates is esential to the construction industry.
Employees at an aggregate quarry.
Local economic benefits
Local benefits can be considered under questions such as:
Wider economic benefits
- To what extent will the development benefit employment in the local area both directly and indirectly?
- Will local businesses benefit from the aggregates operation?
- Will the development make use of existing extraction infrastructure?
In addition to the local importance of an operation consideration needs to be given to the wider benefits as essential raw materials for the construction sector, and also as important markets other goods and services produced in the UK
- How important is the development to sustaining supplies to remote users?
- How critical is the particular quality/ properties of the aggregate for specific construction applications?
- How important are the downstream users and uses to the wider UK economy?, and
- What would be the implications if the material were not made available?
. . . more