Leeds is the UK’s third largest manufacturing centre and 50% of the UK’s manufacturing base is within a two hour drive of Leeds. In the Leeds City Region, 181,000 people are employed in manufacturing.
With around 1,800 firms and 39,000 employees, Leeds manufacturing firms account for 8.8% of total employment in the city. A strong manufacturing culture exists within the city, supported by a large and skilled workforce able to adapt to the rapid technological advances driving the industry.
The largest sub-sectors are engineering, printing and publishing, food and drink, chemicals and medical technology. More information about the manufacturing sector in Leeds, including case studies on leading manufacturing companies, can be found in this downloadable report.
Leeds companies manufacture an extremely diverse range of products including heart valves, surgical instruments, newspapers and magazines, buses, jet turbine blades, high voltage switchgear and motor components.
Some of the largest manufacturing companies in Leeds are Moores Furniture Group, Symingtons, Lever Faberge, Schneider Electric, Communisis, Scientific Games, Arla Foods, Nampak Cartons, and Sulzer (UK) Pumps.
Engineering is the largest manufacturing sector in Leeds with approximately 13,250 employees in around 700 companies. Recent arrivals include Siemens, which has invested in a new £1.2 million plant for its mechanical drives business.
A network of Centres for Industrial Collaboration has been established to encourage closer working between industry and the region’s universities. Five of the centres – specialising in biomaterials and tissue engineering, food, particle science, digital print and wireless technologies – are based at the University of Leeds.
Leeds is the UK’s largest centre outside London for printing, packaging and publishing, with over 400 companies, employing 6,100 people. Leeds City College is the largest provider of print-related training in the north of England.
The Keyworth Institute has been established to develop partnerships between industry and the Faculties of Business and Engineering at the University of Leeds. The institute offers a unique executive masters degree in manufacturing leadership and enables industry to access the university’s research and development capabilities in fields such as electronic, electrical, mechanical and environmental engineering.
Leeds is home to Electronics Yorkshire, which provides bespoke training for electronics companies in the region.