The Armidale economy is a strong economy that has experienced steady growth. Armidale continued to grow over the course of the Global Financial Crisis (2008 - 2010) and in 2012 - 2013 the Gross Regional Product (GRP) for Armidale Dumaresq was in excess of $1.2 billion and is expected to grow from this point driven by growth in Information and Communication Technology, Rental Hiring and Real Estate Services, Retail, Education and Training Services and Agricultural Research.
Education and Training is the largest sector of the economy (at around one fifth of Gross Product) demonstrating the importance of the University of New England, TAFE New England Armidale Campus and a range of high quality independent day and boarding school institutions.
Health Care, Financial Services and Professional Services account for over 25% of GRP and are seen as significant contributors to the local economy and local employment. Similar to the State of NSW, the workforce of Armidale is dominated (54%) by white collar jobs, representative of the local economy and the dominance of education and healthcare.
The Armidale Dumaresq Local Environmental Plan (LEP) has been designed to meet a growing demand for more residential, rural residential, commercial and industrial land now and in the future.
Over the years, the city has enjoyed unprecedented economic expansion including, in recent years, the construction of a $12 million legal precinct and Courthouse, the $60 million Centro Shopping Centre, a development anchored by Woolworths, Big W and 30 plus specialty stores, the refurbishment and rebranding of Kmart Plaza (now Armidale Plaza) a $50 million plus venture anchored by Kmart, Target Country and 50 specialty stores, a Bunning Warehouse which opened in 2010, a new $17 million College at UNE completed in 2014, a Clinical Education Centre ($7m) and the new Ambulatory Care and Chemotherapy facility ($6m). The University of New England continues to upgrade and grow to meet the demands of the tertiary education sector and this has significant impact on our local economy.
But this is not all, as on the drawing board or recently started are projects such as the upgrade of the Armidale Airport, development and release of Industrial Land in the Airport precinct ($15m), the Catholic Church precinct redevelopment ($6m), Educational Research & Teaching building UNE ($18m), new supermarket ($3.7m) release of new residential lands (over 200 lots), completion of new nursing home and retirement village accommodation, 38 Serviced Apartment Development ($10m) and the development of affordable housing options just to name a few.
The completion of the National Broadband Network, fibre to the premises, making Armidale the first mainland city in Australia to be connected to super fast fibre optic broadband is already having a significant affect on the local economy and is seeing Armidale emerge as a significant digital enterprise zone.