Advanced Manufacturing: Food
and Drink

GBSLEP has identified Advanced Manufacturing, particularly food and drink manufacturing, as a key growth sector for the region; providing high value jobs and catalysing innovation and growth.

Advanced Manufacturing: Food and Drink

Advanced manufacturing, particularly food and drink 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 (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and globally competitive, interconnected supply chain firms. Food and drink manufacturing has a strong presence in our area and across the wider west midlands. The region also 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.

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.

Find out more about our West Midlands Low Carbon and Circular Economy Innovation Fund

OUR IMPACT (2020 / 2021)

  • Contribution to regional policymaking for the emerging Birmingham Food Strategy and acting as a thought leader for the West Midlands Food and Drink Manufacturing sector.
  • Launched Mentoring for Growth for SME senior leaders in partnership with the National Leadership Productivity Group.
  • Through our Growth Hub we are now working with West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre to engage businesses across sectors in cyber security.

OUR YEAR AHEAD (2021 / 2022) 

  • Providing Innovation opportunities to create product ideas, green practices and collaborations.
  • Building business networks and raising the profile of the sector through strategic marketing and engagement aswell as key regional events such as the Commonwealth Games.
  • Supporting the vision of Global Britain by increasing regional food and drink UK sales and exports through offering training to SMEs in winning bids, meet-the-buyer sessions for the Commonwealth Games and export support.
  • Promote and encourage young people into Food and Drink manufacturing careers through our Skills and Apprenticeship Hub

West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy: Food and Drink Manufacturing

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 action plan takes account of current sector needs, considers the evolving impact of Covid-19 pandemic as well as future thinking about the changing challenges and opportunities of the sector.

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

West Midlands Food and Drink Manufacturing Forum 

The West Midlands Food and Drink Forum was established in 2020 to help ensure that the Food and Drink Manufacturing Sector Recovery Plan reflects the needs of the sector. 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.

Governance
Forum Members are:

• Aston Manor Cider • Valencia Fine Foods • Purity Brewing • Miss Macaroon • Creating Taste Ltd • Cleone Foods • Essentia Protein Solutions • Green Sisters • Shakespeare Distillery • Walter Smith Fine Foods