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10 reasons why South Humber is the best UK location for investing food and seafood businesses

2:09 pm, Monday, 30th September 2019 - 5 years ago

South Humber’s food and seafood industry ecosystem incorporates specialised businesses, supply chains, skills, education and product R&D – which means added value for growing businesses.

So, here’s a summary of why food and seafood businesses expanding in the UK should choose South Humber as their new business location:

1. Access to industry-leading food manufacturers

Companies in South Humber’s food and seafood cluster include Hain Daniels, 2 Sisters, Morrisons, Country Style, Young’s & Hilton Seafood. For businesses joining the cluster, that means an established base of expertise and skills, and a wide range of supply chain and partnering opportunities.

2. Specialised service companies

Companies in the South Humber cluster do much more than food manufacturing and processing. They also provide vital supporting services in areas including process and refrigeration plant engineering, packaging, food waste management and sustainable energy. Food storage and distribution is another key strength, with 230,000 tonnes of on-port or port-adjacent cold storage capacity in Grimsby.[1]

3. Logistics and fast market access

A strategic location is at the heart of Grimsby’s appeal to food and seafood sector businesses. The town provides fast access to the UK’s major food and seafood production areas (the east of England and, of course, the North Sea), UK consumer markets (from a north-south central location) and international markets via the ports of Immingham and Grimsby.

4. A UK-leading food and process industries workforce

As a percentage of all employees, South Humber’s food manufacturing workforce is 5 x the Great Britain average, while the area’s technically skilled process industries workforce is twice the GB average. For investing food sector businesses, that means an accessible pool of specialist labour across all skills levels.

5. Food sector-focused education and skills

South Humber’s education and skills providers work in partnership with local food and seafood businesses to deliver the specific skills they need. Grimsby Institute provides further and higher education in specialisms including food safety, traceability, processing, engineering, refrigeration and chilled/frozen foods. Vocational skills and training solutions for businesses include professional development, apprenticeships, e-learning and customised training programmes.

6. Food knowledge and research

South Humber’s food manufacturers are recognised for excellence in developing value-added products including chilled foods, prepared meals and soups. And they’re supported by knowledge and research in local academic institutions and food industry authorities. The Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre (FRPERC) supports industry with research in areas including temperature legislation, equipment performance and legal disputes. Seafish, the UK’s seafood authority, provides sector research and data in areas including production, employment and consumer demand. [2] [3]

7. Leading the UK in Seafood

Grimsby’s food cluster is about far more than fish, but the town continues to excel when it comes to seafood. Grimsby Fish Market is a European leader, handling around 20,000 tonnes of fresh fish per annum1, while Grimsby Seafood Village incorporates 21 seafood processing units within the Port of Grimsby. [4]

8. Big cost savings

South Humber combines all the advantages of a leading food cluster with major cost savings for businesses. Average wages in the area are the lowest amongst key UK food manufacturing locations and 23% lower than the Great Britain average [5], while industrial rents are in the lowest 20% of England’s industrial enterprise zone locations. [6]

9. Development-ready ‘enterprise zone’ land

South Humber offers development-ready sites for food manufacturing businesses, with financial incentives. 189 hectares (467 acres) of enterprise zone land is available, as well as development land within the Immingham and Grimsby port estates.

10. Support for investing food sector businesses

Invest North East Lincolnshire, the local authority agency for the area, provides a range of free-of-charge services to food industry businesses investing in South Humber. These include support finding properties, people, grants and supply chain partners – to help deliver projects as quickly and efficiently as possible.


1 Associated British Ports (ABP)
4 Grimsby Seafood Village
5 ONS, UK Government, 2017 (Full-Time Workers)
6 Property Agents: Colliers; Bidwells; Scotts; H2, 2017