Materials & Products
As the engine of the UK’s manufacturing base, the Midlands is home to the companies, supply chains and industry networks that take advantage of the fact that 95% of the UK population can be reached within a 4-hour drive. Our region excels in the production and distribution of everything from spices and ceramics to aeroplanes and medical devices.
Nationally and internationally important clusters in the Midlands include ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent/Staffordshire, metal manufacture and treatment in Birmingham and the Black Country, automotive in Coventry & Warwickshire, textiles in Leicester, and aggregate minerals such as limestone, sandstone, sand and gravel in the East Midlands.
Many niche, specialist or ‘hidden’ components vital to everyday products and infrastructure e.g. advanced metals and materials provide critical inputs to sectors such as automotive, aerospace, construction, nuclear, retail and healthcare.
Facilities at the forefront of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) contributing to more sustainable, efficient construction include an emerging cluster in the West Midlands, Totally Modular – manufacturers of the UK’s first hydrogen homes, and Laing O’Rourke’s pioneering 215-acre Explore Manufacturing Centre in Worksop, the most modern concrete facility in Europe.
£344 million textile industry in Leicester particularly associated with knitting and jersey production technologies, home to 800 textile production sites and technical textile producers, and the most textile patents registered in Europe.
The Midlands is home to 5 UK Catapult Centres covering Energy Systems (Birmingham and Derby), Satellite Applications (Leicester) and 2 of the 7 high value manufacturing focused ones at the MTC near Coventry and WMG at the University of Warwick. Catapults help turn ideas into commercial applications by addressing the gap between technology concept and commercialisation.