Our Economy

Derbyshire has a strong and diverse economy, with many large international corporations supported by a thriving SME and entrepreneurial culture. There are many opportunities for businesses to invest and thrive in Derbyshire.

Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing accounts for almost one fifth of all employment in Derbyshire. The largest manufacturing sectors in the county are metals and metal products and food and drink. Derby is a hub of activity for rail, aerospace and automotive industries with Rolls Royce and Bombardier

having large operations in the city. Federal Mogul, JCB, Futaba and Denby Pottery also have long term investments in Derbyshire. With these leading businesses come clusters of smaller businesses and opportunities to work within the supply chains.

Creative & Digital

The creative industries grew by 9% in 2014, almost double the size of the nation’s whole economy growth – and the sector has increased as a proportion of the total UK gross value added (GVA) for four years running. Approximately 12,500 people are employed in creative and digital industries cross Derbyshire, with a strong cluster of creative and digital businesses in Derby and the High Peak area.

Food & Drink

Derbyshire’s location at the heart of the UK, means that almost 80% of Great Britain can be reached within a four-hour drive, making it an obvious choice for food and drink companies. Internationally renowned companies including, Buxton Water, Global Brands, Moy Park, Nestle, Swizzels Matlow and Thorntons all have major operations or headquarters in Derbyshire. Food and drink manufacturing is one of Derbyshire’s largest manufacturing sectors. Tourism means that there are also opportunities for food and beverage providers across the county, with a drive towards locally produced goods.


Derbyshire’s location at the heart of the country, with excellent infrastructure and high-quality employment has enabled logistics and distribution companies to thrive in the area. Great Bear, Alloga and The Co-operative have all made significant investments in distribution hubs along the M1 corridor in Derbyshire.

Derbyshire is within one hour from five international and freight airports; East Midlands Airport, located on the interchange between the A50 and the M1, is the second largest freight hub in the UK. UPS, DHL, TNT and Royal Mail are all based at the airport providing excellent exporting opportunities.

East Midlands Gateway will bring the largest in-land freight terminal to the area, opening-up further infrastructure links for the region.

Minerals & Aggregates

The presence of an abundant limestone resource in the Peak District means that there is a long history of quarrying and extraction activities and there are 21 active quarry sites across the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales. Mining and quarrying activities in High Peak and Derbyshire Dales contribute over £2.1bn in GVA towards the national economy and this sector is a key employer in the area with the likes of Tarmac, Cemex having large operation in the county.


Derbyshire has a long history of materials, textiles and design. This heritage is proving invaluable today, as technology and new processes, partly fuelled by strengths in transport technologies, create the materials of the future. The East Midlands is home to 2,300 textile related companies employing 85,000 people. Included in these statistics are companies

supplying technical textiles to the transport sector, as well as manufacturers of new technology high performance composites. One such company, Advanced Composites Group, is based in Derbyshire and supplies high performance composite products to the motorsport, aerospace, marine and automotive industries worldwide.


Access to renowned universities, major cities and a fantastic quality of life encourages more and more research and development companies to locate in Derbyshire.  Business enterprise research and development is concentrated around the City of Derby in large corporations and higher education institutes. The government’s health and safety laboratory and Concept Life Sciences are just two organisations located in North West Derbyshire carrying out pioneering research. Their reasons for locating in Derbyshire are simple – they have easy access to good quality skills and an excellent environment in which to live and work.


Derbyshire has over 40 million tourist visitors per year, the tourism industry contributes over £2.15 billion to the local economy every year and employs over 28,000 people.


Derbyshire is synonymous with breath-taking natural beauty. Iconic brands and including the Peak District National Park, Chatsworth House and the National Forest attract millions of tourists each year. Tourism creates jobs and encourages more businesses to set up, grow and locate in Derbyshire.

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