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Leeds City Region Proof That Manufacturing is Alive and Well

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Caroline Wilson, Export Co-ordinator for the Leeds City Region at the Department for International Trade, shares an update on the thriving Leeds manufacturing industry.

Ensuring the sustainable and profitable development of high-value manufacturing in the UK is vital to ensure our economy continues to grow

Sir Mike Gregory, Head of the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

Manufacturing contributes over £6.7 trillion to the global economy. In terms of Gross Value Added, the UK is in the world’s top 10, generating 10% of UK GVA.

In Leeds City Region manufacturing is worth over £7.7bn, with double the national average of companies in advanced manufacturing. The region is also the UK’s biggest manufacturing employment base with almost 10% of the region’s workforce employed in the industry.

Leeds City Region goes from strength to strength in attracting international investment and this year Yorkshire and the Humber recorded the highest number of manufacturing projects. The Leeds City Region attributes its attractiveness to manufacturers to:

  • Highly-skilled workforce: Leeds City Region has the greatest number of STEM students and graduates outside London
  • Agility and innovation: boasting a diverse range of businesses who work across sectors and supply chains to cross-fertilise innovation and best practice

With the greatest concentration of high-value manufacturers in the UK, and renowned for its scale, diversity and excellence, Leeds City Region is well placed to shape the rapidly changing manufacturing environment, as well as capture the opportunities it presents.

Between 2016 and 2017, exports from Yorkshire surged by 14% – the strongest growth from across the Northern Powerhouse – and now Yorkshire is the top exporter of manufacturing goods outside of London.

To highlight the success of one significant cluster, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) showcased the capability of businesses involved in the design and manufacture of bespoke valves at Valve World Expo 2018 in Dusseldorf in November. As the world’s leading trade fair for industrial valves and fittings, this was an ideal showcase for the city region’s valve technology across a wide range of high-value sectors such as oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, process manufacturing and utilities across the globe.

Visit the Advanced Engineering sector page for business and funding support, relevant events and case studies from successful manufacturing exporters.

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