Regional Profile

Virginia's Middle Peninsula region encompasses approximately 1,388 square miles in the east central Tidewater area of Virginia. It includes nine localities: the Counties of Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Mathews, and Middlesex, and the Towns of Tappahannock, Urbanna and West Point. The region is located in the Virginia coastal plain, and has a relatively flat topography along the Chesapeake Bay and gently rolling hills in its upper reaches. With an historic economy based on natural resources such as farming, forestry and fishing, the region now boasts a developing economic base of tourism, business services, and aquaculture.  With a population of just over 90,000 and a 10-year growth rate of 9%, regional leaders seek a sustainable economy that respects the natural resource heritage. The region is a predominantly rural character with large, scattered farms and forested tracts; close-knit, small communities; superb primary transportation corridors providing easy access to the urban areas of Northern Virginia, the Richmond region, and Hampton Roads; an active regional arts community; and broad-based civic involvement in festivals and events. 

Diversity of Economic Base Creates Platform for Business Growth  

Virginia's Middle Peninsula is home to unique business, research and commercial assets, including:

  • Advanced Manufacturing:  from WestRock, one of North America's leading vertically integrated manufacturers of paper and packaging products, to Nestle Purina Pet Care, the leading pet nutrition company, Virginia's Middle Peninsula supports hundreds of advanced manufacturing jobs with the support of a talent-supply network of training providers, including Rappahannock Community College.
  • Professional Services/Government Contracting:  Home to Fulcrum Concepts, LLC, the region is an ideal location for small and mid-sized services firms that need easy access to primary agencies in the state and federal government.
  • Seafood & Aquaculture:  Home to numerous marinas and small businesses engaged in the seafood industry, the region is also home to the Rappahannock Oyster Company, a nationally-recognized vertically-integrated company that builds on the region's rich heritage of rivers and oysters to create a sustainable product that is environmentally important to the region's natural resources.
  • Research:  Virginia's Middle Peninsula is home to the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, which has a three-part mission to conduct research in coastal ocean and estuarine science, educate students and citizens, and provide advisory service to policymakers, industry, and the public.
  • Diversity:  Virginia's Middle Peninsula is home to the Commonwealth's only federally-recognized Native American Indian Tribe, bridging the past with the future in ways yet to be determined.

Emerging Business Clusters Create Pathways to the Future

Virginia's Middle Peninsula is home to emerging innovation clusters that form the basis for continued corporate and entrepreneurial investment:

  • King William & The Town of West Point: Manufacturing & Forestry/Agriculture
  • Middlesex County: Maritime & Industrial
  • Gloucester County: Marine Technology; Education/Research; Medical; Seafood
  • King and Queen County: Government Contracting
  • Essex County and the Town of Tappahannock: Medical; Manufacturing; Forestry/Agriculture

VEDP Regional Profile