GBSLEP has identified Advanced Manufacturing, particularly food and drink manufacturing, as a key growth sector for the region; providing high value jobs, innovation and growth.
Food and drink manufacturing is defined as the processing and manufacture of food and drink products. The principal role of manufacturing in the UK food supply chain is to add value to food product ingredients.
Our region is a national supply chain centre, home to cutting edge research and development in food and drink manufacturing.
Food and Drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, contributing £28.2bn to the economy annually and employing 400,000 people. The West Midlands Food and Drink Manufacturing Sector accounts for £1.04bn GVA in the West Midlands region, and the regional ambition for 2030 is to increase the GVA of the sector to £2.05bn.
The sector employs around 16,000 people across the 3 West Midlands LEPs, with the bakery, meat processing and beverage sectors being the largest employers. GBSLEP is leading on the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy Sector Recovery Plan for Food and Drink Manufacturing in partnership with the 3 West Midlands LEPS; Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, Black Country LEP and Coventry and Warwickshire LEP.
The Sector Recovery Plan has been developed with input of regional stakeholders in a wide-ranging consultation during 2019 and 2020; the implementation of this work has since been overseen by the regional ‘West Midlands Food and Drink Manufacturing Forum’, which has informed delivery by the GBSLEP.