Northern Spotlight – a focus on Yorkshire and Humber industry

The North is home to several ‘hotbeds’ of industry. In fact, some of the most innovative businesses based in the region are recognised not only in the UK, but globally. And whilst there is no denying that we have entered yet another period of political uncertainty following the recent snap election, signs are still pointing to continued growth.

Here, we summarise some of the geographical areas contributing to this success and the reasons why:

Sheffield City Region

A centre of excellence for manufacturing and energy technology, the Sheffield City Region’s growing reputation has put it firmly on the map over recent years – with the Advanced Manufacturing Park providing a home for world-class organisations including Boeing and Rolls Royce, as well as being at the forefront of cutting-edge developments at the hands of smaller, emerging firms.

Looking outside of the AMP and at the region as a whole, Prime Minister Theresa May highlighted a series investment announcements earlier this year, describing the city as being able to "help power a new engineering revolution for the UK".

The Sheffield Business Park, with its unrivalled proximity to the major arterial routes of the north, and its location at the heart of the wider City Region, is home to an impressive myriad of businesses; including ITM Power, Fulcrum, SIG, Primetals Technologies Ltd, Ansys, Stanley Black and Decker and Institute of Mechanical Engineers (Argyll Ruane Ltd).

It is also now at the nucleus of the UK’s first Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District – attracting high-profile site development partners including the University of Sheffield, with the Factory 2050 development at the very heart of what is now referred to as the Advanced Manufacturing Campus.

Hull

Hull may well be able to boast its year-long status as UK City of Culture, but providing real and lasting growth in the area will be the Siemens £310m investment in the form of a wind turbine blade factory. The facility, opened in December 2016, will service offshore wind farms and provide 1000 jobs in the process. The UK chief exec of Siemens, Juergen Maier, described it as “the best example of industrial strategy in action we have in the UK today”.

Further securing the Humber's position at the forefront of the UK's renewable ambitions, E.ON announced earlier this year that it planned to back the proposed Yorkshire Energy Park at Saltend – a £200m energy and data park that could create up to 1,000 jobs.

Outline plans for the proposed £200m development, which is earmarked for part of the former Hedon aerodrome site, were submitted to East Riding Council last month.

Hundreds of people have already attended community information events to view the proposals, which have also gathered the support of Hull College.


Leeds

The focus in Leeds is firmly on fintech, further strengthening its long established position as the finance capital of the North.

As well as being at the forefront in other industries such as digital media and pharmaceuticals, the government has demonstrated a commitment to the Fintech sector as part of the Northern Powerhouse agenda - and with Leeds already being home to 30 plus banks as well as pioneers in the sector including Worldpay and Contis, this is a natural growth area for the city.

In fact, director of strategy and competition at the Financial Conduct Authority, Christopher Woolard, said that the area is one of two key areas in the UK where “’fin’ and ‘tech’ collide” when speaking at the Innovative Finance Global Summit earlier this year.

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