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Advanced Manufacturing

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Port icon

The UK’s largest port per tonnage, providing fast access to International markets

Workforce icon

More than twice the national average of process plant & machine operatives (% of workforce)

Industry icon

Significant rent and land cost savings versus other key UK locations

Truck icon

Fast road access to England’s major locations within 1 HGV driver shift


South Humber is the UK’s most exciting ‘challenger location’ for expanding advanced manufacturing companies.


The area’s combination of fast access to UK and international markets, a highly skilled technical workforce, substantial labour and property cost savings and development-ready, incentivised enterprise zone sites rivals the UK’s established advanced manufacturing locations – and in fact frequently surpasses them.

Advanced Manufacturing worker

South Humber’s key advantages for advanced manufacturing companies include:


  • More workers in the key ‘skilled metal, electrical and electronics trades’ category than Coventry, Derby or the Great Britain average (as % of total)
  • Substantial labour costs savings – up to 26% versus competitor locations including Lancashire, Derby and Birmingham
  • Fully serviced, development-ready sites with enterprise zone financial incentives and large power supplies
  • Massive land costs savings – up to 76% versus competitor locations including Lancashire, Birmingham and Coventry
  • Fast road access to England’s major manufacturing locations, from a north-south central location, within 1 HGV driver shift (4.5 hours’ drive time)
  • Direct port access, providing comprehensive sea freight connectivity to European and global markets
  • Engineering research, education and training from Grimsby Institute and the University of Hull

Advanced Manufacturing workers


Skilled Labour Supply


Available Manufacturing Workforce

chart showing percentage of workers in manufacturing

Source: ONS, UK Government, 2018 (employees; Travel to Work Areas)

The numbers in the chart above show that as a percentage of all employees (within the travel to work area) working in manufacturing, South Humber’s manufacturing workforce is double the Great Britain average (16.7% versus 8.1%) and larger than those in major UK advanced, aerospace, and automotive manufacturing locations, including Coventry (10.9%) and Birmingham (9.2%).

Location% workers in manufacturing (SIC C)
Preston (Lancashire)11.2%
Liverpool6.8%
Grimsby16.7%
Derby18.4%
Birmingham9.2%
Coventry10.9%
Leamington12.2%
Bristol6.4%
Great Britain average8.1%

chart showing percentage of workers in skilled metal and electrical trades

Source: ONS, UK Government, 2020 (% of all in employment; Travel to Work Areas)

The numbers in the chart above show that as a percentage of all employees (within the travel to work area) working in a skilled metal, electrical or electronic trades profession, South Humber’s skilled technical workforce is shown to be greater than the Great Britain average (4.5% versus 3.5%), equal to Coventry, and higher than key advanced manufacturing, automotive and aerospace locations across Great Britain including Birmingham (4.1%), Leamington (Warwickshire – 2.9%) and Bristol (2.3%).

Location% skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades workers (SOC52)
Preston (Lancashire)4.6%
Liverpool3.1%
Grimsby4.5%
Derby4.8%
Birmingham4.1%
Coventry4.5%
Leamington2.9%
Bristol3.5%
Great Britain average8.1%

chart showing percentage of workers who are process plant and machine operatives

Source: ONS, UK Government, 2020 (% of all in employment; Travel to Work Areas)

The numbers in the chart above show that as a percentage of all employees (within the travel to work area) working in the ‘process plant and machine operatives’ category, South Humber’s skilled technical workforce is more than double the Great Britain average (13.9% versus 5.8%) and higher than key advanced manufacturing, aerospace and automotive manufacturing locations including Derby (9.2%) and Birmingham (7.2%).

Location% process plant and machine operatives (SOC 8)
Preston (Lancashire)6.3%
Liverpool6.2%
Grimsby13.9%
Derby9.2%
Birmingham7.2%
Coventry7.1%
Leamington4.1%
Bristol5.0%
Great Britain average5.8%

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