Advanced Manufacturing

GBSLEP has identified Advanced Manufacturing as a key growth sector for the region, providing high value jobs and catalysing innovation and growth across multiple sectors.

Advanced Manufacturing in our area


Advanced Manufacturing is a key growth sector for the region, providing high value jobs and catalysing innovation and growth across multiple sectors.  Our region is home to cutting edge research and development, established OEMs and globally competitive, interconnected supply chain firms. The region has leading strengths in automotive and aerospace and there are significant opportunities for growth in next generation rail technologies, capitalising on global markets in very light and digital rail. Food and drink manufacturing also has a strong presence in our area and across the wider West Midlands, highlighted in the Local Industrial as a key sector strength.


GVA data confirms the importance of advanced manufacturing to the GBSLEP area economy:

  • It accounts for 13.5% of economic output compared to 10.6% across the UK.
  • Delivery of the GBSLEP Strategic Economic Plan 2016-2030 presents the opportunity to grow employment within the sector by 2%, with an increased GVA output of 69% (£2.7 billion) during the period.

More information on the GBSLEP business support offer for advanced manufacturers can be found through the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Growth Hub.

If you are interested in learning more about the GBSLEP programme of activity around advanced manufacturing please contact Ellen Peacock, Senior Policy Officer at GBSLEP.

West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy

The West Midlands was one of three trail-blazing regions to launch an early Local Industrial Strategy, led by the West Midlands Combined Authority. Businesses and the three West Midlands LEPs have led early work to create sector action plans, which seek to overcome challenges in our strongest sectors to support sector growth. One of these is a West Midlands regional sector action plan for the food and drink industry. GBSLEP is leading on the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy Sector Recovery Plan for Food and Drink Manufacturing on behalf of the 3 West Midlands LEPS; Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, Black Country LEP and Coventry and Warwickshire LEP. 

The Food and Drink Manufacturing Sector 

The West Midlands’ central location and strong transport links with the rest of the UK makes it an attractive location for food and drink manufacturers. There are also several high-quality sector specialised science and research facilities within the region such as the Food and Drink Advanced Manufacturing Hub at James Watt College, Birmingham, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre near Coventry.

Data shows that the West Midlands food and drink manufacturing sector accounts for £1.04bn GVA and 21,000 jobs. The regional ambition for 2030 is to increase the GVA of the sector to 2.05bn and increase the number of jobs to 22,000.

The latest draft of the emerging WMLIS Food and Drink Manufacturing Sector Recovery Plan can be accessed here.

You can learn more about our plans for this sector by viewing this video presentation.

Industry Engagement 

West Midlands Food and Drink Forum

The West Midlands Food and Drink Forum was established to advise on the Food and Drink Manufacturing Sector Recovery Plan development. The Forum meets quarterly and includes members from a range of businesses, all based in the West Midlands and working within food and drink manufacturing.

If you are interested in learning more about the WMLIS Food and Drink Manufacturing Sector Recovery Plan or being part of the West Midlands Food and Drink Forum please contact Ellen Peacock, Senior Policy Officer at GBSLEP.