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Advanced Manufacturing

Norfolk – Manufacturing/Engineering Economy

Report Segment: Manufacturing/Engineering Economy

There are around 1000 manufacturing companies in Norfolk (1149 companies were identified through Companies House in 2010 – of which 916 fell into the following categories: engineering; transport; electronics; energy; food; and life sciences). The Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) 2009 brings together all production companies under one classification and records 2215 businesses for the county of Norfolk representing around 15% of the East’s six counties capacity and around 2% of the UK’s ‘production’ companies. This figure closely matches the Local Economic Assessment (November 2010) figure of 2280 business units under the “manufacturing” umbrella which is also based on the ABI.

SEMTA talk of an automotive cluster in the Greater Norwich area and there have been several economic development reports mentioning an “A11 automotive corridor” (see for example Hethel Engineering Centre - HEC Manufacturing Cluster Maps report 2010 and Breckland Spatial Strategy) and the Local Economic Assessment (2010) refers to the A11 having a “concentration of automotive and engineering expertise” (page 28). In addition to this cluster, one can refer to a key triangle of manufacturing ‘hotspots’ based around Greater Norwich – stretching out to Great Yarmouth; the Thetford area; and Kings Lynn. If HEC’s plans for a Lotus Technology Park come to fruition (see Section 8), one can see a clear catalyst for advanced engineering emerging in the county, serving to influence and provide critical mass for the three key engineering hot spots identified.