Food and Drink Manufacturing

Food and Drink Manufacturing Sector Action Plan for the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area

 Join the D2N2 Food and Drink Manufacturing Group on LinkedIn

Food and Drink Manufacturing

Food and Drink Manufacturing as a sector employs over 16,000 people across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Employment is concentrated in rural areas which have links to the important agricultural base. With the ever growing and expanding agri-food sector employment is concentrated in rural Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire W particularly in concentrations in the Peak District, Newark & Sherwood, Bassetlaw and Amber Valley with the agri-food sector continuing to grow during the recession.  D2N2 is home to many blue chip food manufacturers, which include nationally known businesses such as Thorntons, Warburtons, Nestle, Greencore, British Sugar and Pork Farms. In addition to a vibrant SME base across the urban and rural landscape Food and Drink Manufacturing businesses are producing high quality goods of world renowned provenance.

Peak Ales Brewery - Derbyshire
Peak Ales Brewery
Prof Ellen Billett, Head of Food authenticity, Nottingham Trent University
Foodanddrink - Prof EllenBillett, Head of Food Authenticity, NTU

The area benefits from a strong farming sector, employing over 10,000 people on farms and generating over £500m per year to the economy.  Our excellent transport links to the rest of the UK via rail, road and air enables rapid distribution of food and drink to all parts of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as further abroad and also close access to markets in the surrounding areas.

The sector is also relatively productive in the D2N2 economy with output per full-time employee estimated to be 5.5% higher than the sector in the UK overall.  It is a source of secure employment in roles ranging from high tech, professional and managerial occupations, including food scientists, engineers etc, to lower skilled roles such as helping a butcher, cake decorator, fishmonger, vegetable grower, or to make and sell the packaging for these products. This vast selection of multi skilled jobs is appealing to a broad section of the workforce.  Dedicated training is provided for the sector by organisations including New College Nottingham, Derby College in Buxton and School of Artisan Food at Welbeck. Training in this sector ranges from short taster courses to longer more certified qualifications to benefit and expand the range of skills people have in this sector.

Through the D2N2 Growth Hub and the UI4G (Unlocking Investment for Growth) programme a number of businesses have been supported within the sector and these case studies are linked below:


D2N2 Growth Hub

The FEAST project from the Food and Drink Forum was approved for EU Funding to deliver a new dynamic business support programme targeting the priority D2N2 Food and Drink sector. In a comprehensive approach FEAST will deliver technical advice, local branding and export support, an apprentice programme and capital grants - all support needed by growing food SMEs to help them create quality jobs for the D2N2 area.

To find out more about the programme please contact D2N2 Growth Hub on 0333 006 9178 or

LogoERDF Col Landscape