Economy and Industry
Due to mechanisation, the china clay industry now employs just over 3000 people, a mere fraction of the workforce in the early 20th century. However, the industry still commands a higher annual output than ever before. The town's economy is supported by its town centre shops and supporting businesses.
The St Austell Brewery, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2001, supplies cask ale to pubs in Cornwall and the rest of the UK. They are best known for their flagship beer, St Austell Tribute; a number of other ales are brewed but are rarely seen outside Cornwall.
Like much of Cornwall, and neighbouring counties, tourism is increasingly important to St Austell's economy. Tourists are drawn to the area by nearby beaches and attractions such as the Eden Project, sited in a former clay pit, and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Visitors to the town make a sizable contribution to the local economy during the summer season. The China Clay Country Park situated in a former china-clay pit two miles north of the town, tells the story of the men, women and children who lived, worked and played in the shadow of the clay tips around St Austell.
St Austell is home to several public houses, numerous high street retailers, and several independent shops, many of which cater for tourists.
St Austell is also home to Radio St Austell Bay, A community Radio station which will broadcast from Tregorrick Park, St Austell. It will broadcast from January to an audience of approximately 30,000 as it will cover St Austell and outlying towns, from Trewoon in the west to Tywardreath in the east.
St Austell also has a local newspaper, the St Austell Voice.