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Gillingham town profile

Gillingham is the most northerly town in Dorset and in the last twenty years, has grown particularly rapidly and been successful in attracting a variety of new industries. Gillingham is important as a service and shopping centre for the surrounding villages.


Gillingham is located four miles north west of Shaftesbury at the junction of the B3095 and B3081. The A303 trunk road is only four miles away. The town has its own railway station on the Exeter to London line.


Latest population figure (2012 Mid Year Estimates) for the town (Gillingham Parish)  11,871

Age GroupGillingham (persons)Gillingham (%)Dorset(DCC Area)(%)England and Wales(%)
0 to46655.64.76.3
5 to 96725.74.95.7
10 to 146995.95.45.6
15 to 197156.05.86.2
20 to 245144.34.66.8
25 to 296285.34.26.8
30 to 346925.84.46.7
35 to 396905.84.96.4
40 to 448757.46.57.2
45 to 498837.47.37.3
50 to 547886.67.16.6
55 to 597005.96.65.7
60 to 646685.67.55.7
65 to 696975.97.75.3
70 to 745915.05.73.9
75 to 795314.54.93.2
80 to 844043.43.92.4
All ages11,871100100100

Selected age groups

AgeGillingham (number)Gillingham (%)Dorset - DCC area (%)England & Wales (%)
Young people 0 to 172,46320.718.621.3
Young adults 18 to 29143012.011.016.1
Older people 65 +2,68222.626.317.0

Source: Office for National Statistics, 2012 Mid Year Estimates

Historic Population

Census population

Source: ONS


Gillingham pyramid area:
Eight primary schools, one secondary school.
The secondary school for the area
Gillingham School (1,783 pupils- 2011)

For more information on Gillingham School (opens in a new window)  

Commercial land

Between 1994-13, 12.39 hectares of employment land has been developed in Gillingham. The total area of land with permission or allocated in local plans is 14.92 hectares.


Domestic burglaries

Rate per 1,000 households

DCC Dorset6.
South West14.812.310.78.98.4n/a8.
England and Wales20.018.6 (GB)14.413.513.1n/a12.211.611.110.5

Please note: Due to the low prevailing level of offences, and the often sporadic nature of burglary, rates for small geographical areas can vary significantly from year to year
Source: Dorset County Council

Other sources of crime data

Access the Police crime mapping Gillingham (opens in a new window) where you can find crime data on a month by month basis (starting December 2010) mapped to neighbourhood and street level. This looks at the crime types of burglary, anti-social behaviour, robbery, vehicle crime, violent crime and other crime. Note this comprehensive and up-to-date database only looks at numbers of crimes and not crime rates for individual crimes. It does give an overall crime rate (per 1,000 people) for the neighbourhood.

Housing growth

Housing development815127611881832021332249825131430149

Note: figures allow for losses from re-development etc.

The 2011 Census records 5,345 dwellings in Gillingham.
Since 2011, a further 23 have been built giving a total of 5,368 dwellings.
At March 2013, a further 21 units have permission and 111 have been allocated in local plan.

Method revised 2009

Index of deprivation, 2010

(Figures show SOA ranking out of 247 SOAs in Dorset with 1 being the most deprived)

SOA = Super Output Area (minimum 400 households or 1,000 population)  

SOAMultipleIncomeEmploymentHealthEducation & SkillsHousing & ServicesCrimeLiving
Gillingham Coldharbour241235229197152215243232
Gillingham Lodborne8747758849153215147
Gillingham Town573885913317417112
Gillingham Wyke19617115512654235208215

Please see The Index of Deprivation, 2010 for detailed information and mapping. 


Poverty Indicators: Housing/Council Tax Benefit: March2013 

SettlementBenefit PopulationTotal Population

% Benefit Population
(% of total 
settlement population)

Bere Regis3051,74517.5%
Charminster/Charlton Down3792,94012.9%
Corfe Castle1901,35514.0%
Corfe Mullen94810,1339.4%
Lyme Regis5273,67114.4%
Lytchett Matravers3703,42410.8%
Lytchett Minster/Upton1,3387,98316.8%
St Leonards & St Ives5366,8597.8%
Sturminster Marshall1991,96910.1%
Sturminster Newton6644,29215.5%
West Moors9817,56113.0%
Dorset ( DCC area)---

Source: DCC

Average House prices

Dwelling typeAverage Price  July - Sept 2009Average Price  July - Sept 2010July - Sept 2010 (sales)Average Price  July - Sept 2012July - Sept 2012 (sales)

Land Registry average prices (Prices may be affected by low number of sales). Sales relate to the postcode sector SP8 4

Tenure - 2011 Census

% of all households

AreaOwner occupied (%)Shared ownership (%)Social rented (%)Private rented (%)Living rent free (%)

Source: ONS


Approx 'built-up' area = 350 hectares (865 acres)

Local authority revenue

Council Tax  for band D for YearCouncil tax payable

Second/Holiday and Empty Homes, 2014

Total dwellings on Council Tax Register5,389
Total number of second homes49
Second homes as a % of total dwellings0.9

Source: Council Tax Register (parish figure, rounded)

Ethnicity (%) - 2011Census

EthnicityGillinghamNorth DorsetDorset (DCC area)
% white British94.094.795.5
% Black and minority ethnic groups (BME)

 Source: Office for National Statistics, 2011 Census

Country of birth (%) - 2011 Census

Country of birthGillinghamNorth DorsetDorset (DCC area)
% born in England90.589.791.0
% born rest of UK2.43.43.4
% born in Rep of IRE0.30.30.4
% born EU (member countries in 2001)
% born EU (Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011)
% born elsewhere2.83.63.1

 Source: Office for National Statistics, 2011 Census

Health - 2011 Census (% of population)

Health Limiting day-to-day Activities

Health limiting day to day activitiesGillinghamNorth DorsetDorset (DCC area)
Day-to-day activities limited a lot (%)
limited a little(%)10.210.411.5
not limited(%)82.282.579.9
limited a lot: Age 16 to 64(%)
limited a little: Age 16 to 64(%)
not limited: Age 16 to 64(%)53.353.651.1

General Health

General healthGillinghamNorth DorsetDorset (DCC area)
Very good health(%)47.047.844.6
Good health(%)35.535.235.9
Fair health(%)13.012.814.5
Bad health(%)
Very bad health(%)

Provision of Unpaid Care

Provision of unpaid careGillinghamNorth DorsetDorset (DCC area)
Provides no unpaid care(%)90.089.488.1
Provides 1 to 19 hours unpaid care a week(%)
Provides 20 to 49 hours unpaid care a week(%)
Provides 50 or more hours unpaid care a week(%)

 Source: ONS 2011 Census

Socio-economic classifications, 2010 ACORN

% Wealthy Achievers40.136.8
% Urban Prosperity7.14.3
% Comfortably Off33.242.5
% Moderate Means9.29.5
% Hard Pressed10.26.9
% unclassified0.20.0

ACORN is a geodemographic segmentation of the UK's population which segments small neighbourhoods, postcodes, or consumer households into five categories, 17 groups and 56 types.
The five higher level categories, wealthy achievers, urban prosperity, comfortably off, moderate means and hard pressed are shown above.

A full ACORN profile of the town with maps of the five wards is available. You can access the  Gillingham ACORN Profile (pdf, 1Mb) (opens in a new window)  for this information.

Retail profile - total town floorspace

61 shops/78,000sq.ft. (2005)

Town centre

Mainly small shops, but including Lidl, Somerfield and Waitrose.

Catchment area

The shopping catchment for Gillingham (major food shopping) extends around three miles in an east and west direction, but further to the north and south. The town competes with Wincanton to the West and Shaftesbury to the south-east. The Dorset population within the catchment is around 12,100 (mid 2001)

Library - Number of issues of books etc


Source: Dorset County Council

Industrial estates

Ambassador Trade park, east Stour (1.3h), Brickfields Industrial Estate (2.92h), Brickfields Business Park (14.96h), Filly Brook Business Park, Buckhorn Weston (0.2h), Kingsmead  Business Park (1.4h), Station Road Industrial Estate (1.77h),  Tomlins Lane Industrial Estate (0.15h)

Unemployment % (persons)

Follow this link to see the latest monthly unemployment figures for the area.

Proportion of resident population aged 16-64 and actual number

YearMaleFemaleTotalLong term unemployed
(% of all unemployed)
July 19982.3 (19)1.3 (9)1.9 (28)-
July 19993.0 (24)2.0 (14)2.5 (38)-
July 20001.1 (10)0.4 (3)0.8 (13)-
July 20011.7 (15)0.7 (6)1.2 (21)-
July 20021.1 (12)1.5 (12)1.3 (24)-
July 20031.4 (18)1.1  (10)1.3 (28)-
July 20042.1 (22)1.1 (10)1.6 (32)18.8
July 20051.8 (19)0.7 (6)1.3 (32)4.9
July 20062.1 (22)1.0 (9)1.6 (31)3.8
July 20071.1 (14)0.5 (5)0.8 (19)10.7
July 20080.9 (25)0.5 (12)0.7 (37)0.0
July 20092.2 (61)1.2 (32)1.7 (93)2.2
July 20101.8 (50)0.9 (25)1.3(75)10.8
July 20112.0 (48)1.1 (27)1.5 (75)2.7
July 20121.9 (46)1.0 (26)1.4 (72)16.7
July 20131.8 (44)1.0 (26)1.4 (70)17.6
July 20140.7 (18)0.4 (11)0.6 (29)24.1

Source: ONS claimant count from NOMIS.

The wider economy of the area

To see an economic profile of the wider North Dorset area follow this link to the  North Dorset Economy & Labour Market Profile 2013 (pdf, 463kb) (opens in a new window) .

2012 employment

Total number of people working in the town: 3,500

Number of Firms (excluding self employed) : 310 (2009)

Work patternpercentage


Type of employment%
Production and construction25
Distribution, accommodation and food37
Finance, ICT and professional services6
Other services8
Public Admin, education and health24

Source: Annual Source: Business Register and Employment Survey, 2012 ONS

Major employers

Bakers of Gillingham, Chester Jefferies Ltd, Dextra Lighting Systems plc,
Dorset County Council, J H Rose & Sons, Lidl, SCATS,
Sherman Chemicals, Sigma Aldrich Co Ltd, Co-op, Sydenhams,Waitrose.

Car ownership

Area% No cars or vans in household% 1 car or van in household% 2 cars or vans in household% 3 cars or vans in household% 4 or more cars or vans in household
England and Wales25.642.
South West18.943.528.36.72.6

Source: 2011 Census (parish figure)

Traffic counts in the Gillingham area - annual average daily traffic

Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADF)

B3081West of Gillingham1,8003,0004,2004,3004,7004,600
B3092Milton on Stour3,6004,2006,0006,4006,1005,900
B3081East of Gillingham4,2006,2009,2009,9009,70010,400

Percentage traffic growth

Road1 Year
5 Years
10 Years
22 Years
28 Years

 Source:Dorset County Council Environment Directorate, 2013

Local authorities

Dorset County Council
County Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1XJ
01305 221000

North Dorset District Council
Nordon, Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 7LL

01258 454111

Gillingham Town Council contact details

Useful websites

Gillingham Town (opens in a new window)

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