Shropshire has the highest proportion of technology workers outside London (2x the UK average), with Telford being a particular hotspot. This relative concentration has provided the basis for the development of a cluster of high technology manufacturing enterprises.
Current strengths overview: advanced manufacturing, new technologies and personal services.
Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering
Manufacturing is in Telford’s DNA. Home to the world's first iron bridge, which is a major symbol of the industrial revolution, Telford continues to be a hub for engineering and manufacturing innovation.
There are many global engineering firms located here: Epson, Ricoh, Schneider, and The Epwin Group. They are all diverse in innovation implementation, product development, and sector knowledge across the depth of the manufacturing supply chain.
Future - The manufacturing services of the University of Wolverhampton, at the Telford Innovation Campus has received significant new investment worth £12 million, which seeks to work and develop long lasting working partnerships with local enterprises and enhance competitiveness. HS2 is also set to attract companies into Telford.
Telford has a rich heritage in manufacturing, engineering, and agriculture which provides a vital foundation for the growth of the Agri-Tech sector.
The Department of International Trade has recognised Telford as a high potential opportunity for new investment within the Agri-Tech sector, working in partnership with Harper Adams University.
There is a new Agri-Tech business park in Newport called Ni.PARK, which is a collaborative exchange between industry and academia. Ni.PARK seeks to unlock growth and exploit Agri-Tech focuses on R&D, Robotics, Big Data, Photonic and Synthetic Biology.
The recent Government announcement that the West Midlands has been chosen as the home of the UK’s 5G technology and is backed by £150 million of investment is significant in supporting this sector's growth. Capgemini is a market leader in digital transformation and has invested £1.2 million in Telford.
The E-innovation centre is also an example of where small businesses have come together, using digital technologies. There are multiple opportunities at the Telford Innovation Campus. There is digital work available in the public sector, too. HMRC has established a specialist digital centre in Telford.
Future - West Midlands Combined Authority targets a £7 billion increase in creative and digital sectors together with 29,000 jobs by 2031.
Automotive and aerospace manufacturers
Stadco, GKN, Johnson Controls, Denso and Mahle based here, and Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Moog, Meggitt and UTC Aerospace Systems. (16 of the top 20 automotive manufacturers are based here.)
Recently, a new development (JLR Plant) has accelerated further growth in the area.