Gloucestershire's innovation must be reflected in new government's strategy

Ian Mean
Director of Business West Gloucestershire | Business West
5th October 2022

At the risk of sounding like a long playing record, I think it is worth reminding ourselves of the proud heritage Gloucestershire has in advanced engineering and manufacturing.

I say this after a worrying week for our new government which spooked the financial markets.

GFirstLEP, of which I am proud to be vice chair, has just released new figures and an Invest in Gloucestershire prospectus aimed at encouraging investment in our advanced engineering and manufacturing sector.

Those figures are economically encouraging with £2.98 billion generated by Gloucestershire firms and 35 000 people employed in the county’s advanced engineering and manufacturing.

I think we often forget how innovative Gloucestershire has been over the years.

This is the place from where Sir Frank Whittle’s jet engine first flew-one of the world’s greatest latter-day inventions.

Gloucestershire has been synonymous with the aerospace industry for over 100 years.

We are home to some of the global aerospace giants like Safran, GE Aviation, Dowty Propellers, Ultra and Moog.

And now our county is at the forefront of the leaders in zero emissions, propulsion, pioneering battery powered and hydrogen aviation through the likes of Electroflight and ZeroAvia.

We have heard a lot from the new government about the need for strong growth.

I think that mantra is exactly right. But real growth does not come without brilliant innovation as evidenced by companies here like Renishaw and Spirax-Sarco.

I would remind the new Business Minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg, that something over 70% of Gloucestershire’s businesses are actually involved in innovation-25% more than the national average.

That’s why I would like to see the government’s new business strategy-when it comes-to reflect Gloucestershire’s great innovation and world leading expertise in the advanced engineering and manufacturing companies that do so much to drive this county’s economy.

To view the Invest in Gloucestershire prospectus, go to

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