Greater Grimsby

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The North East Lincolnshire towns of Grimsby, Immingham and Cleethorpes, form the economic area known as Greater Grimsby.[1] The main sectors of the Greater Grimsby economy are food and drink; ports and logistics; renewable energy; chemicals and process industries and digital media.

Europe’s food town[edit]

Greater Grimsby is home to around 500 food-related companies making it one of the largest concentrations of food manufacturing, research, storage and distribution in Europe. Grimsby has been known for more than 15 years as “Europe's Food Town”.[2] Grimsby is world famous as a fishing port and is the main centre of the UK fish processing industry.

One notable Grimsby product is traditional Grimsby smoked fish, which was awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in 2009 by the European Union. Only producers who smoke fish correctly using criteria laid down by the Grimsby Traditional Fish Smokers Group in accordance with the Trading Standards Institute can refer to their product as traditional Grimsby smoked fish.[3] Traditional smoking in Grimsby relies on a natural slow smoking process that is very different from the more widely used mechanical process[how?].

In recent years, Grimsby's expertise in fish processing has led to diversification into all forms of frozen and chilled foods. Grimsby is one of the single largest centres of fish processing in Europe. More than 100 local companies are involved in fresh and frozen fish production including the headquarters of Young's Bluecrest, part of the Foodvest Group, with some 2,500 people based at its headquarters[citation needed]. From its Grimsby base, Young’s supplies 60 species from 30 countries.[4][not in citation given] Other major seafood companies include Coldwater Seafood, employing more than 700 people across its sites in Grimsby[5][not in citation given].

The £5.6 million[citation needed] Humber Seafood Institute opened in 2008 and is the first of its kind in the UK. Backed by Yorkshire Forward, North East Lincolnshire Council and the European Regional Development Fund, the HSI is managed by the local council and tenants include the Seafish Industry Authority and Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education. Greater Grimsby is a European centre of excellence in the production of chilled prepared meals, and the area has the largest concentration of cold storage facilities in Europe.[6] In March 2010, the seafood cluster around Greater Grimsby was described as the best industrial grouping in Britain by an independent panel at the Cluster Mark awards. The cluster was singled out for its “exceptional entrepreneurial dynamism, innovation and skills base.”[7]

UK’s busiest port[edit]

The Port of Grimsby and Immingham is the UK’s largest port by tonnage.[8] Its prime deep-water location on the Humber Estuary, gives companies direct access to mainland Europe and beyond. Being 200 miles (320 km) from London, Edinburgh and Rotterdam, means that Greater Grimsby is central to the UK and Europe. Local motorways connect to all parts of the UK placing 40 million consumers within a 4-hour drive.[9] This area is the busiest in the UK for rail freight with a choice of specialist terminals serving destinations across the country.[10] Humberside Airport, conveniently located just a few miles from Greater Grimsby, is a key national and international gateway connecting over half a million passengers to 30 destinations every year, with daily flights to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the world’s third largest international airport.[11]

Offshore wind and renewable energy[edit]

Building on its long-standing expertise in the power sector, Greater Grimsby is now becoming a major centre for green renewable energy and is the UK's emerging capital of the offshore wind industry.[12] In terms of steaming distance, Grimsby is 10–50 miles from existing and planned turbines off the Lincolnshire coast in the North Sea, where a further 4,000 turbines are to be built.[13] The area has all the ingredients necessary to host operations and maintenance (O&M) functions, major manufacturers, component suppliers and R&D for the renewables industry.[14] Two of the largest players in offshore wind, Centrica and Siemens, have chosen to base their O&M teams in Grimsby. Both companies are planning significant expansions across the area as more turbines come on stream.[15]

Process industries[edit]

Greater Grimsby is at the centre of a major concentration of process industries, which in the wider Humber region employs around 15,000 people in 120 companies that collectively turnover more than £6 billion each year.[16] The process industries in and around Greater Grimsby are diverse and include petrochemicals; commodity chemicals; speciality chemicals; composite materials; pigments and paints; pharmaceuticals and supporting services. Centre for the Assessment of Technical Competence – Humber (CATCH) is a unique £8 million training facility near Immingham which opened in 2006. It is able to simulate a chemical plant without the risks of handling dangerous substances at high temperatures and pressures.[17]

Digital media[edit]

Greater Grimsby is an emerging centre of digital media, with award-winning companies and state-of-the-art facilities. Partnerships with Sony, BBC, ITV and the Press Association enable the area to deliver programming that reaches millions across Europe.[18] The area offers film-makers a choice of locations backed up with access to a skilled talent pool and studio facilities which have seen been used in Oscar-winning films such as Atonement[19] and This is England.[20] Immage Studios is a state-of-the art production centre and hub of creative TV, broadcast technology and new media innovation. The studios, based in Immingham and owned by the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, consist of a 2,700 sq ft (250 m2) broadcast TV studio with full production support, HD edit suites and a digital broadcast transmission facility. The studio building is home to Propeller TV and Channel 7 Television and outputs over 3,500 hours of broadcast programming a year to the SKY satellite and Virgin Media cable platforms.


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