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East Midlands

East Midlands
East Midlands region in England
East Midlands region in England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Status Region
 • Admin HQ Melton Mowbray
 • Leadership East Midlands Councils
 • Regional development emda (Defunct)
 • European Parliament East Midlands
 • Total 6,033 sq mi (15,630 km2)
Area rank 4th
Population (2011)
 • Total 4,533,000
 • Rank 8th
 • Density 750/sq mi (290/km2)
GVA per capita £17,698
GVA rank 5th

The East Midlands, one of nine official regions of England, is the eastern part of the Midlands, encompassing Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and most of Lincolnshire.


  • Geography 1
    • Geology 1.1
    • Environment 1.2
    • Forestry 1.3
  • Governance 2
  • Population and settlement 3
  • Transport 4
    • Road 4.1
    • Airports 4.2
    • Railway 4.3
    • Water 4.4
    • Transport policy 4.5
  • History 5
    • Romans 5.1
    • Danelaw and the Anglo-Saxons 5.2
    • Scientific heritage 5.3
    • Culture 5.4
    • Industrial heritage 5.5
    • Second World War 5.6
    • Regional governance 5.7
  • Demographics 6
    • Social deprivation 6.1
    • Elections 6.2
    • Eurostat NUTS 6.3
  • Local government 7
  • MEPs 8
  • Economy 9
    • Manufacturing 9.1
    • Retail 9.2
    • Food processing 9.3
    • Healthcare 9.4
    • High technology 9.5
    • Finance 9.6
    • Rural 9.7
    • Entertainment 9.8
  • Education 10
    • Secondary education 10.1
    • Universities 10.2
  • Sports 11
    • Football 11.1
  • Local media 12
    • Television 12.1
    • Radio 12.2
    • Newspapers 12.3
    • Magazines 12.4
  • See also 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15


The highest point in the region is Kinder Scout in the Peak District near Glossop, at 2,088 ft (636 m). The centre of the East Midlands area lies roughly between Bingham and Bottesford. The geographical centre of England lies in Higham on the Hill in west Leicestershire, close to the boundary between the East and West Midlands. 88% of the land is rural, although agriculture accounts for less than three percent of the region's jobs. All of the coastline within the region falls within Lincolnshire.


The region is home to large quantities of limestone, and the East Midlands Oil Province. Charnwood Forest is noted for its abundant levels of volcanic rock, estimated to be approximately 600 million years old.

Twenty five percent of the United Kingdom's cement is manufactured in the region at three large sites in Hope and Tunstead in Derbyshire, and in Ketton Cement Works in Rutland.[1] Of the aggregates that are produced in the region, twenty five percent is from Derbyshire and forty percent is from Leicestershire. Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire each produce around thirty percent of the region's sand and gravel output.


Areas of the East Midlands designated by the East Midlands Biodiversity Partnership as Biodiversity Conservation Areas include:[2]

Areas of the East Midlands designated by the East Midlands Biodiversity Partnership as Biodiversity Enhancement Areas include:[2]

Major Oak in Sherwood Forest

There are two nationally designated areas of outstanding natural beauty - the Peak District and the Lincolnshire Wolds.


Several towns in the southern part of the region, including Market Harborough, Desborough, Rothwell, Corby, Kettering, Thrapston, Oundle and Stamford, lie within the boundaries of what was once Rockingham Forest - a designated royal forest. Rockingham Forest was designated as a royal hunting forest by William the Conqueror, and was long used by English kings and queens.

Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire attracts many visitors, and is perhaps best known for its ties with the legend of Robin Hood.


Regional financial funding decisions for the East Midlands are taken by East Midlands Councils, based in Melton Mowbray. East Midlands Councils is not an elected body; it is made up of representatives of local government in the region.

The East Midlands Development Agency was headquartered next to the BBC's East Midlands office in Nottingham, and made financial decisions regarding economic development in the region.

However, since the Conservative-Lib-Dem coalition Government began spending cuts after their success in the 2010 General Election, regional bodies such as those held by the Regional Development Agencies have been devolved to smaller groups now on a County level. As a region today, there is no overriding body with significant financial or planning powers for the East Midlands.

Population and settlement

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The East Midlands' largest settlements are Nottingham, Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield, Kettering, Lincoln, Loughborough, Mansfield and Northampton. Leicester is the largest city in the region, whilst the Nottingham Urban Area is its largest urban conurbation.


Nine percent of all jobs in the region are in logistics. Traffic in the region is growing at two percent per year - the highest growth rate of all regions in the United Kingdom. It has been estimated that there are approximately 140,000 heavy goods vehicle journeys made inside the region each day.


The M1 motorway (part of the E13 European route) serves all of the region's county towns, with the exception of Lincoln, and affords a motorway link to London and Leeds.

Towards the east of the region lies the A1 (part of the E15 European route), an important route for journeys to and from ports on England's east coast, and a major artery for the United Kingdom's agricultural industry.

The A46 follows a route which, since Roman times, has provided a connection between the south west and north eastern parts of the region.

The A43 dual carriageway connects the East Midlands with the South of England.

The A5 runs to the south of the area near Hinckley.


East Midlands Airport (looking west)

East Midlands Airport in North West Leicestershire is situated between the three cities of Derby, Nottingham and Leicester. The airport is the region’s biggest public airport, used by over 4 million passengers per year. Rivalry between the region’s three biggest cities has led to a long-running discussion about the identity of both the airport, and region, with The East Midlands rarely found on any non-political map of the UK. The name was at one point changed to Nottingham East Midlands Airport so as to include the name of the city that is supposedly most internationally recognisable, mainly due to the Robin Hood legend. However, the airport has a Derby phone number and postcode, and is in Leicestershire, but is officially assigned to Nottingham by IATA. As a result of the dispute the name was soon changed back, to now include all city names.

Smaller airports include Retford Gamston Airport, Nottingham Airport, Leicester Airport, Hucknall Airfield, Sywell Aerodrome, and Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome. The Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield lies just outside the East Midlands, in South Yorkshire, but is within the historic boundaries of Nottinghamshire.


Two of the United Kingdom's mainline railways serve the region - the Midland Main Line and the East Coast Main Line, providing services terminating at London St Pancras railway station and London Kings Cross railway station respectively. Both operators provide regular high-speed services to London, at up to 125 mph, serving Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, Derby, East Midlands Parkway, Nottingham, Chesterfield, Grantham, Newark and Retford. Northampton and Long Buckby is served by the Northampton Loop of the West Coast Main Line. England's primary south-west to north-east Cross Country Route runs through Birmingham and Derby. Worksop, Mansfield, Lincoln, Matlock, Melton Mowbray, Skegness, Boston, Spalding and Oakham are served by regional services.

A land speed record for trains was broken in the region. Although the record was set in 1938, the current world speed record for steam trains is held by LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard, which clocked 126 MPH between Grantham and Peterborough, pulling six coaches on the East Coast Main Line near Little Bytham in Lincolnshire, on 3 July 1938.

There are currently plans to bring a new high-speed rail line through the East Midlands as part of the High Speed 2 project. Phase 2 of this project would see a new line connecting Birmingham to Leeds, with a proposed station in Toton known as the East Midlands Hub.


The River Trent at the former High Marnham Power Station, next to the 1897 Fledborough Viaduct

The Trent is a navigable river, and is used to transport goods to the Humber, as well as passing by many power stations.

Several rivers in the region gave their name to early Rolls-Royce jet engines, namely the Nene, the Welland, and the Soar.

Transport policy

As part of the transport planning system, the Regional Assembly is under statutory requirement to produce a Regional Transport Strategy to provide long term planning for transport in the region. This involves region wide transport schemes such as those carried out by the Highways Agency and Network Rail.[3]

Within the region, local transport authorities carry out transport planning through the use of a Local Transport Plan (LTP), which outlines their strategies, policies and implementation programme.[4] The most recent LTP is that for the period 2006-11. In the East Midlands region the following transport authorities have published their LTP online: Derbyshire,[5] Leicestershire.[6] Lincolnshire,[7] Northamptonshire,[8] Nottinghamshire[9] and Rutland U.A.[10] The unitary authorities of Derby,[11] Leicester[12] and Nottingham[13] have each written a joint LTP in collaboration with their respective local county councils.



A historical basis for such an area exists in the territory of the Corieltauvi tribe. When the Romans took control of the region, they made Leicester one of their main forts (then named Ratae Corieltauvorum). The main town in the region in Roman times was Lincoln, at the confluence of the Fosse Way and Ermine Street.

Danelaw and the Anglo-Saxons

The region also corresponds to the later Five Boroughs of the Danelaw, and the eastern half of the Anglian Kingdom of Mercia. In around 917 the region was subdivided between Danelaw (Vikings) to the north, and Mercia (Saxons) to the south. By 920, this border was moved further north to the River Humber. Evidence of the Danelaw can be seen in place-name endings of the region's villages, particularly towards the east. The Danes under Canute recaptured the area from around 1016 to 1035.

Scientific heritage

Isaac Newton, born in Grantham in 1642 is perhaps the most prolific, ever, scientist. His accomplishments include Calculus, Newton's laws of motion, and Newton's law of universal gravitation among many other. There is a shopping centre named in his honour in Grantham.

Henry Cavendish, loosely connected with Derbyshire, discovered hydrogen in 1766 (although the element's name came from Antoine Lavoisier), and Cavendish was the first to estimate an accurate mass of the Earth in 1798 in his Cavendish experiment. The Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge is named after a relative. Herbert Spencer coined the term survival of the fittest in 1864, which was once strongly linked with Social Darwinism. Sir John Flamsteed was the first Astronomer Royal of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich in 1675.

Boolean logic (upon which all digital electronics - and computers - depend), was born in Lincoln in 1815. Boole's grandson, the physicist G. I. Taylor, made significant experimental contributions to quantum mechanics.

The first practical demonstration of radar was near Daventry in 1935.

Silicone was invented 1899 by Prof Frederick Kipping at University College, Nottingham. Michael Creeth of Northampton discovered the hydrogen-bonding mechanism between DNA bases, allowing the structure of DNA to be discovered. Nottinghamshire's Ken Richardson was in charge of the team at Pfizer in Sandwich, Kent that in 1981 discovered Fluconazole (Diflucan), the world's leading antifungal medicine, especially useful for people with weakened immune systems, and has few side effects; he is now one of the few Britons in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Steep Hill in Lincoln
Fox hunting is historically linked with the East Midlands


The area is known historically for its food - examples of which include Red Leicester, the Lincolnshire sausage, the Melton Mowbray pork pie, Stilton, the Bakewell tart, and the Bramley apple.

D. H. Lawrence is perhaps the region's best known author, although only gained full recognition in the late twentieth century.

William Booth of Nottingham founded The Salvation Army in 1865. Another religious order, the Pilgrim Fathers, originated from Babworth near Retford.

Joseph Wright of Derby an artist whose paintings symbolised the struggle between science and religious values in the Age of Enlightenment. He was also suggested to be "the first professional painter to express the spirit of the Industrial Revolution".

Industrial heritage

The region can claim the world's first factory, Sir Richard Arkwright's Cromford Mill. Additionally, the world's oldest working factory can also be found in the area, producing textiles at Lea Bridge, owned by John Smedley. Both sites are part of the region's only World Heritage Site, the Derwent Valley Mills. An opportunist employee of the Derbyshire textile factories, Samuel Slater of Belper saw his chance and (illegally) eloped in 1789 to Rhode Island in the USA after memorising the layout of the textile machinery while working at Jedediah Strutt's Milford Mill. He was warmly welcomed by the inhabitants of the newly formed USA - so much so that he was later named the Father of the American Industrial Revolution.

Britain's hosiery and knitwear industry was largely based in the region, and in the 1980s it had more textile workers than any other British region. The stocking frame was invented 1587 in Calverton, Nottinghamshire by Rev William Lee; these were the first known knitting machines and heralded the industrial revolution by providing the necessary machinery. The world's first (horse-powered) cotton mill was built in central Nottingham in 1768. Marvel's Mill in Northampton was the first cotton mill to be powered by water.

John Barber of Nottinghamshire had invented a simple gas turbine in 1791 (when living in Nuneaton). Lincoln was the site of the first tank (first built on 8 September 1915), and Grantham the first diesel engine (in 1892). The jet engine was first developed in the region in Lutterworth and Whetstone, with the VTOL engine also (initially) developed in Hucknall. The first jet aircraft flew from RAF Cranwell in May 1941. During the Second World War, Derby was an important strategic location, as it was in Derby that Rolls-Royce developed and manufactured their iconic Merlin aero-engine. During the Second World War, all of R-R's engineering staff had been transferred to Belper. Derby was also home to an important railway workshop, initially for the Midland Railway, then the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, and finally British Railways. British Rail Research Division in Derby invented the APT and Maglev. The first ever steel rails were laid in 1857 in Derby railway station for the Midland Railway.

At its height, Corby Steelworks were the largest in Britain. The collapsible baby buggy was invented in 1965 at Barby, Northamptonshire by Owen Maclaren. The largest camera in the world was built in 1957 in Derby for Rolls-Royce, which weighed 27 tonnes and was around 8ft high, 8ft wide and 35 ft long, with a 63-inch lens made by Cooke Apochromatic. Ford's £8m Daventry Parts Distribution Centre (Ford Parts Centre) was fully opened on 6 September 1972 (the first southern section opened in 1968), and was the UK's largest building by floor area - 36.7 acres for many years, and is situated opposite the Cummins factory.

J. P. Knight of Nottingham is credited with inventing (green and red) traffic lights (in London) on 9 December 1868, but these lasted only three weeks; traffic lights would be introduced only from the 1920s in London (from an American-led design scheme). Edgar Purnell Hooley, a Nottinghamshire surveyor, in 1901 was in Denby and found a stretch of road surface that was smooth from an accidental leak of tar over the surface. He patented a process of mixing tar with chipped stones in 1902, forming Tarmac, a name which he patented. Radcliffe Road (A6011) in West Bridgford in 1902 was the first tarmac road (five miles long) in the world.

space hopper; the company collapsed in 1983, moving to Swansea. In Leicestershire was Palitoy, another world-famous firm in Coalville; General Mills bought it in 1968 and production ceased in 1984, and the site was closed by Hasbro in 1994. Pedigree Dolls & Toys was in Wellingborough.

Much integrated circuit and semiconductor research was carried out at Caswell (Plessey) near Towcester, ahead of much of what was being achieved in America by Jack Kilby. It was later a site for manufacturing monolithic microwave integrated circuits in the 1990s by Marconi Materials Technology. The site was Plessey's main research site during the Second World War and also known as the Allen Clark Research Centre.

Second World War

Most of the region was protected by a solitary RAF station, RAF Digby near Sleaford, part of No. 12 Group RAF and controlled from RAF Watnall. Within the East Midlands, only Nottingham was heavily bombed during the Second World War's Blitz, due to the presence of a large Royal Ordnance factory. However, much of the aerial obliteration of Germany was directed from the region, with two bomber groups based in Lincolnshire (No.1 and No.5), and a few squadrons in South Nottinghamshire.

Regional governance

The current government office region was created in 1994. Government funding decisions moved from Melton Mowbray (the East Midlands Regional Assembly) to Nottingham (the East Midlands Development Agency) in April 2010.


Watford Gap services - Britain's first motorway service station - opened in November 1959

For teenage pregnancy rates in the region, of top-tier authorities, Nottingham has the highest rate. For council districts, Corby has the highest rate. For top-tier authorities, Rutland has the lowest rate, and the lowest rate for any district in England. The council district with the lowest rate is South Northamptonshire, although it has a rate greater than that of Rutland. Rutland has the highest Total Fertility Rate for British counties (top-tier authorities). The borough of Boston has the highest TFR for district councils.

The region has the second lowest overall population density in England (after South West England) - largely due to the low population density of Lincolnshire and Rutland. In 2007, the region had a lower percentage of degree-educated people than the English average.[14] 29.5% of the region's population live in rural areas.

Social deprivation

The region as a whole is less deprived than the West Midlands and regions in the North of England.[15] By measurement of Lower Layer Super Output Areas, the East Midlands has more in common with the South of England (except London) than the North, in that it has more areas in the twenty percent least deprived areas than the twenty percent most deprived areas, but less so than regions in Southern England. This has been explained by academic statisticians, who claim the area straddles the north-south divide.[16]

The region does not show typical economic characteristics of Northern England (which the West Midlands does), although it is not as affluent as large parts of the South. Economically, the East Midlands bears similarity to South West England.

In March 2011, the average unemployment claimant count for the region was 3.6%. Nottingham and Leicester were the highest with 5.8% each. Next were Corby and Lincoln with 4.9%. The lowest were Rutland and South Northamptonshire with 1.4% each, and Harborough, with 1.6%.[17]


In the 2010 general election, 41% of the region's electorate voted Conservative, 30% Labour and 21% Liberal Democrat. The division of seats is less equally spread, with 31 Conservative and 15 Labour,[18] and the geographic spread is even more weighted towards the Conservatives, with Labour's 15 seats being in Derby (2), Leicester (3), Nottingham (4) and the East Midlands coalfield (6) - most of these, except Leicester, are in the area defined as the economic North of England, and are in geographically smaller seats. Northamptonshire, Rutland and Lincolnshire are completely Conservative. The region had a 6.7% swing from Labour to Conservative.

In the 2009 European elections, 30% voted Conservative, 17% Labour, 16% UKIP, and 12% Liberal Democrat. Also in 2009, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire county councils changed control from Labour to Conservative. From 1993-2005 Northampton was controlled by Labour, and is now Conservative-controlled. Lincolnshire and Leicestershire have historically been Conservative-controlled and hence all the main county councils are now Conservative-controlled.

Eurostat NUTS

In the Eurostat Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), the East Midlands form a level-1 NUTS region, coded "UKF", which is subdivided as follows:

NUTS 1 Code NUTS 2 Code NUTS 3 Code
East Midlands UKF Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire UKF1 Derby UKF11
East Derbyshire (Bolsover, Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire) UKF12
South and West Derbyshire (Amber Valley, Derbyshire Dales, Erewash, High Peak, South Derbyshire) UKF13
Nottingham UKF14
North Nottinghamshire (Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood) UKF15
South Nottinghamshire (Broxtowe, Gedling, Rushcliffe) UKF16
Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire UKF2 Leicester UKF21
Leicestershire CC and Rutland UKF22
West Northamptonshire (Northampton, Daventry and South Northamptonshire) UKF24
North Northamptonshire (East Northamptonshire, Corby, Wellingborough and Kettering) UKF25
Lincolnshire UKF3 Lincolnshire CC UKF30

Local government

The official region consists of the following subdivisions:

Map Ceremonial county Shire county
Derbyshire 1. Derbyshire aHigh Peak, bDerbyshire Dales, cSouth Derbyshire, dErewash, eAmber Valley, fNorth East Derbyshire, gChesterfield, hBolsover
2. Derby U.A.
Nottinghamshire 3. Nottinghamshire aRushcliffe, bBroxtowe, cAshfield, dGedling, eNewark and Sherwood, fMansfield, gBassetlaw
4. Nottingham U.A.
(part only)
5. Lincolnshire aLincoln, bNorth Kesteven, cSouth Kesteven, dSouth Holland, eBoston, fEast Lindsey, gWest Lindsey
Leicestershire 6. Leicestershire aCharnwood, bMelton, cHarborough, dOadby and Wigston, eBlaby, fHinckley and Bosworth, gNorth West Leicestershire
7. Leicester U.A.
8. Rutland
9. Northamptonshire aSouth Northamptonshire, bNorthampton, cDaventry, dWellingborough, eKettering, fCorby, gEast Northamptonshire


The East Midlands is a five-member constituency for the European Parliament.


The Manufacturing Advisory Service for the region is based on the A606 in Melton Mowbray, next to East Midlands Councils.[19]


The jet engine was built and developed in the region

In 2003, 23% of economic output in the East Midlands was in manufacturing, compared to 15% in the UK.

For engineering, Rolls-Royce (the world's second-largest maker of aero engines) in Sinfin and Rolls-Royce Marine Power Operations are both in Derby. Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery (former GEC, then Alstom) make industrial gas turbines in Lincoln, with a former division making aero-engine components now part of ITP Engines UK, based at Whetstone, next door to Hardinge Machine Tools UK (former Bridgeport). Triumph Motorcycles and Ultima Sports (sports cars) are in Hinckley. Cummins make diesel engines in Daventry, and build AC generators in Stamford. At the north of Motorsport Valley Cosworth and MAHLE Powertrain (former Cosworth Technology before January 2005) are next to the Nene in Northampton, with an engine block plant off the A509 in Wellingborough. Mercedes GP (former Brawn GP before 2010) are in Brackley, Force India and Delta Motorsport at Silverstone, and Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines in Brixworth. Near Leicester, Noble are in Barwell and Fenix Automotive in Braunstone.

JCB Power Systems is on an old airfield near Foston, Derbyshire and nearby Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) is on an old airfield at Burnaston. Caterpillar has a large factory on an old airfield near Desford; the site is also used by Massey Ferguson for their spares division factory. DeltaRail Group is in Derby and Bombardier UK (former BREL before 1996 then ABB Adtranz) is Britain's only train manufacturer left, and is in Litchurch; it built the Nottingham trams, the Electrostar and Turbostar fleet, and London Underground trains. South of the factory is Pattonair, a global aircraft components supplier. APPH (part of BBA Aviation) make aircraft landing gear on the B6020 next to Kirkby-in-Ashfield railway station. Raleigh Bicycle Company, although has had its manufacturing in the Far East for over ten years, is based in Eastwood; its former site on Triumph Road is now the quirkily designed Jubilee Campus of the University of Nottingham which has the UK's tallest (52 metres) sculpture, Aspire. Ferodo is in Chapel-en-le-Frith, who have made brake pads since its founder Herbert Frood invented them in Combs in 1897. Carbolite, which makes industrial furnaces, is based near the B6049/A6187 junction in the Hope Valley.

UK Coal (formerly RJB Mining) is based in Harworth

FKI who own Brush Electrical Machines is in Loughborough, home to the Energy Technologies Institute and John Taylor & Co, which although entering administration in 2009, is the largest bell foundry in the world. Aggregate Industries (owned by Holcim since 2005) is based at Bardon Hall in Bardon, next to the 912-foot (278 m) Bardon Hill, Leicestershire's highest point. Mountsorrel has the largest granite quarry in Europe, owned by the French company, Lafarge (owned by Redland plc until 1997). BPB plc (British Plasterboard), the world's largest manufacturer of plasterboard (calcium sulphate) who own British Gypsum, is based in East Leake, Nottinghamshire. They also have a large site at Barrow upon Soar. Artex Ltd., part of the same company, is in Ruddington. The north part of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire used to have many coal mines, and there are two pits still producing in Nottinghamshire near Market Warsop and Ollerton; UK Coal is based in Harworth. Swarfega was invented and is made by Deb in Belper. Hörmann Group UK (garage doors) is in Coalville. Barratt Developments (housing) is at the A511/B585 roundabout in Ellistown and Battleflat (Bardon), south-east of Coalville; Ibstock is the largest brick manufacturer (900 million a year) in the UK, nearby to the south-west. Eco-Bat Technologies, based in South Darley, west of Matlock, smelt and mine lead, and are the world's biggest producer of lead, and own eighteen sites across the world. Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK is in Syston, next to the A607.

Tata Steel Tubes Europe is in Corby, along the A427 near the A43 roundabout. Gardner Aerospace are based in north Ilkeston off the A6007. JJ Churchill make turbine blades for jet engines in the east of Market Bosworth, next to the Battlefield Line Railway. Ross Ceramics north of Derby make ceramic cores for casting turbine blades (at Rolls Royce). The Alumasc Group is in Burton Latimer. Sealed Air UK on the Telford Way Ind Estate near Kettering General Hospital makes Bubble Wrap, which its parent USA company invented in 1960. NSK Ltd. has a bearings factory in Newark-on-Trent, its European HQ. Illuma Lighting makes industrial lighting next to the railway in Castle Donington. The Motor Industry Research Association has an important test track at Higham on the Hill near Hinckley. Hendrickson Europe make truck suspensions at Sywell Airport. Freeman Automotive (owner of EBC Brakes) are based on the A428 in the north of Northampton. Timsons make printers in Kettering. Heckler & Koch UK is in Lenton. In Worksop near the A60/A57 roundabout Cinch Connectors (part of Safran) have their European plant, making D-subminiature connectors (found on the back of computers); on the Dukeries Ind Estate, Worksop Galvanizers (Wedge Group) have the largest galvanizing bath (zinc) in the UK, able to fit up to 29 metres in length. Cooper Bussmann makes electrical fuses in Burton on the Wolds off the B676. Pearce Signs, one of the UK's largest sign-makers, is based in New Basford. Nylacast is an international engineered plastics company based in Humberstone, Leicester.

North Midland Construction is off the B6027 in Huthwaite. RPC Group in Rushden, on the A6, is a large (international - the largest of its type in Europe) packaging company, and make the bottles for Heinz Tomato Ketchup. Granger's, on the Clover Nook Ind Estate off the A38 at Pinxton, make Cherry Blossom shoe polish. Wade Spring, the UK's leading manufacturer of upholstery springs, is in Long Eaton off the A6005; nearby Meadowmead make premium furniture off the B6540, and Aga Rangemaster Group make kitchen sinks. W&G Sissons on the Chesterfield Est, now owned by Franke, has been the UK's largest manufacturer of stainless steel sinks since the 1950s. Worcester, Bosch Group makes its oil-fired and floor-standing boilers at Danesmoor, off the A61. Leaderflush Shapland (owned by SIG plc) make doors near the A608/A610 junction at Aldercar and Langley Mill. Parker Knoll make high-end furniture off the B6016 on the Greenhill Ind Estate, south of Alfreton. Fusion Provida based on B6057/A61 junction in Chesterfield makes pipe jointings and electrofusion fittings for the oil and gas industry. Vaillant UK (former Hepworth Heating before 2002, with headquarters in Remscheid) make Glow-worm boilers on the A609 near Belper School.

The Watchkeeper WK450 UAV is built jointly by Thales and Elbit on Scudamore Road in west Leicester, towards the M1. Carlton Laser Services make industrial CNC lasers (for laser cutting) next to the railway line and the A563 in Rushey Mead. Hoval UK, based on the B6166 (former A46) near Newark Northgate station, make industrial boilers at the Beevor Foundry in Lincoln for international customers, and have a Royal Warrant. Jayplas, the UK's biggest plastic recycling company is based in Egleton in Rutland. Fairline Boats are based on the Nene in Oundle off the A605 bypass.


Wilkinson head office is at Manton, Worksop. In Lenton, are the head offices of Games Workshop, the producers of Warhammer miniatures, and the fashion company Paul Smith. The lingerie companies Gossard, Aristoc, Pretty Polly, and Berlei (formerly owned by Courtaulds) are based in Daybrook; most of their lingerie is now made in Belper. Speedo International Limited is on the ng2 business park on Queens Drive (near Experian - formerly in Bobbers Mill on the A610 near Basford before 2010). Its LZR Racer suit helped Michael Phelps win eight golds at the 2008 Olympics. Pendragon PLC, the car dealership and the Sherwood Park industrial area is in Annesley. Dunelm Mill, the furnishings company, is based in Syston, as is Pukka Pies. Many footwear companies such as Shoe Zone (which bought out Stead and Simpson), are based in Leicester, as was the now-defunct photographic equipment company Jessops, bought and relaunched as Jessops Europe by businessman Peter Jones and Fox's Confectionery (maker of Fox's Glacier Mints), with both based near each other on the Braunstone Frith estate. Next door is the clothing company Next, which is the largest company in the region (and the Midlands) by number of employees - 59,000, and has the second largest turnover (£3 billion) of companies headquartered in the region, after Boots (£6 billion). Also in Leicester are the bookmaker Mark Jarvis, the BSS Group, the European HQ of National Car Rental, and Otis UK (lifts, near the National Space Centre on the A6). Jacobs is on the Meridian Business Park in Braunstone, next to the M1.

Dr Martens and many footwear companies are based in the south of the region, near Wellingborough

Taylor Bloxham, the lithographic printers, is in the north of Leicester. Brantano Footwear UK, based in Leicester before 2002, is in Ellistown and Battleflat just south of Coalville near M1 junction 22, nearby to Nestlé's national distribution centre. Hammonds, the furniture company, is in Hinckley. Blacks Leisure Group (previous owner of Blacks and Millets before financial failure and takeover by JD Sports) was based in Duston, in the west of Northampton; and also in the town are Travis Perkins (owner of the Wickes brand) and Avon Products UK. East Midlands Trains has its head office in Derby. The former East Midlands Electricity is now owned by E.ON UK (supply, since Powergen bought EME in June 1998) and Western Power Distribution (distribution, who bought Central Networks in April 2011), which is based in Long Whatton and Diseworth. Nearby at Castle Donington is the home of the (separate) headquarters of BMI (in Donington Hall) and bmibaby. Sports Direct is based in Shirebrook on an old Bolsover coal mine. Sixt, the car rental firm, has its UK base in Chesterfield, the base of Auto Windscreens. Dr. Martens are made in Wellingborough, also home of Booker Group, the Cash & Carry. Topps Tiles are based in Enderby. Maclaren, the pushchair maker, is near the M1 next to Long Buckby railway station. There are three main distribution centres in the area at Magna Park in Leicestershire (the largest of its kind in Europe), and Brackmills and the Daventry International Railfreight Terminal in Northamptonshire. J D Wetherspoon have their main distribution centre at Daventry, and Currys (founded in Leicester in 1888 on Belgrave Gate) have theirs at Newark-on-Trent.

Food processing

Oxo factory on the Dukeries Industrial Estate in Worksop

Silver Spoon makes all of its demerara and brown sugar at Newark-on-Trent, although the Tate & Lyle site may be closing. Swizzels Matlow makes children's confectionery in New Mills. Carlsberg has been brewed in Northampton since 1974, and also brews Holsten Pils, and will brew Tetley from 2011. Cott Beverages UK is in Kegworth. Global Brands (maker of Vodka Kick and Corky's) is based in Clay Cross. Greencore UK is in Barlborough; its at Manton Wood Enterprise Zone, Worksop (former Hazelwood Chilled Foods) claims to be the world's largest sandwich factory. United Biscuits has a main factory in Ashby-de-la-Zouch where it makes its KP Snacks. Oxo and Bisto is made by Premier Foods in the west of Worksop. Cat food such as Whiskas is made in Melton Mowbray by Masterfoods; their Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition on the A607 claims to be the world's leading authority on petfood research. Also in the south-west of the town next to the railway, Samworth Brothers own Ginsters. Whitworths, the food company, is in Irthlingborough.

Carlsberg Brewery at the A428/A508 junction in Northampton

The crisp company Walkers (owned by PepsiCo and the UK's biggest grocery brand) makes 10 million bags of crisps a day, using 280,000 tonnes of potatoes a year, at the biggest crisp factory in the world at Beaumont Leys; next door Bradgate Bakery makes sandwiches. Pork Farms is in Lenton, Nottingham, next to the A453 and A52. Thorntons is a big employer south of Alfreton in Swanwick on a former colliery, since the factory opened in 1985. Weetabix, the UK's leading cereal brand, is at Burton Latimer next to the main railway line, who also make Weetos in Corby; next door at the A6/A14 junction in Burton Latimer is Alpro UK who make soya milk products. Long Clawson Dairy are the largest producers of Stilton cheese in the UK; the cheese, with Shropshire Blue, is also made in Cropwell Bishop and Colston Bassett. Faccenda Group of Brackley is the second largest processor of chicken in the UK. In Wigston RF Brookes make M&S pies, and next door Charnwood Foods make pizza bases for Pizza Hut; both are owned by Premier Foods. Uniq Prepared Foods on Moulton Park make half of M&S's sandwiches and sandwich filler pots. Sealord UK in Caistor make all of Waitrose's white fish products. Kettleby Foods, part of Samworth Brothers, make most of Tesco's ready meals (cottage pies) in Melton Mowbray.


Sir Owen Williams D10 building at Boots

Boots UK is based in Lenton in Nottingham, who developed Ibuprofen in the 1960s, and Vision Express are nearby, next to the A52. Crookes Healthcare, formerly Boots and now Reckitt Benckiser, make Strepsils and Optrex on the enormous Boots site, and Boots Contract Manufacturing (BCM) make products for other firms. On the ng2 business park, Specsavers have their corporate eyecare and contact lens division. Three out of the four main UK opticians are sited in Nottingham. The MRI scanner was developed at the University of Nottingham by Sir Peter Mansfield, and next door, Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) is the largest teaching hospital in Europe, and the largest hospital in the UK. The CT scanner (X-ray computed tomography) was invented by Newark's Sir Godfrey Hounsfield. Both inventions received Nobel Prizes for Medicine (2003 for MRI and 1979 for CT).

EMAS is based in Bilborough on the A6002 near junction 26 of the M1. There are three (charity-funded) air ambulance services: the western one is based at EMA, the eastern one is based at RAF Waddington, and the southern one (shared with Warwickshire) is at Coventry Airport. NHS East Midlands is at Sandiacre next to junction 25 of the M1. AstraZeneca have their (soon to close by the end of 2011)[20] Charnwood R&D site in Loughborough, which was owned by Fisons before 1995, when it was bought by Astra. 3M Health Care has a factory in the north of Loughborough on the A6, with its head office on the A60 next to the railway station. BioCity Nottingham is an important centre for cutting-edge bioscience companies. Slimming World, who help people lose weight, is in Pinxton, near Alfreton off the A38; on the other side of the railway NHS Supply Chain was formed in 2006 on the Cotes Park Ind Estate in Somercotes; nearby Diversey UK (former JohnsonDiversey) has a manufacturing plant, and is based at the A43/A4500 junction at Weston Favell. Dalatek Plastics make pharmaceutical containers off the B6022 on the Maun Valley Ind Park at Sutton in Ashfield next to the railway. Brunel Healthcare (former Peter Black, Perrigo then NeutraHealth), owned by Elder Pharmaceuticals, in Swadlincote makes food supplements. Off the A60 at Carlton in Lindrick north of Worksop, Robinson Healthcare makes first aid equipment. Plastek make healthcare dispensing bottles in Forest Town, Mansfield off the A6117.

High technology

Belkin UK is in Rushden, Misco is in Wellingborough, RS Components in Corby and Pegasus Software is in Kettering. Serif Europe is in West Bridgford. AVG Technologies has its UK head office on Newark's industrial estate. Eurocom, a video games company, is west of Derby on the A52. Experian have their large data centre on the Fields Business Park, south of Ruddington. Phoenix IT Group is in Briar Hill, off the A5056 (outer ring road) in the south-west of Northampton. Inter-Activa is at the LCB Depot in Leicester city centre. Nexor is in Nottingham. Entalysis, a business performance management software company, is located in Burton upon Trent town centre.


Since 1997 Capital One, the Virginia-based credit card company, has had its European HQ at Trent House in Nottingham's city centre in a former Boots UK printing works next to the railway station, and Nottingham City Council since 2009 have taken over the company's Loxley House next door as their HQ. Dublin-based Experian, one of two UK credit-referencing companies, was founded in the city in 1980 (owned by GUS until 2006) and has a large UK HQ to its south west, on the A453 near the River Trent. Santander (former Alliance & Leicester) is based in Narborough. Barclaycard is headquartered in Northampton, and Nationwide has a large administrative centre at Moulton Park. Egg Banking is on Pride Park in Derby, until Barclays soon close the site.


Lincolnshire and Rutland are very agricultural, with much of the UK's arable crops grown in this area. Leicester's Walkers Crisps are made exclusively from potatoes grown in Lincolnshire. After Norfolk, Lincolnshire is the second biggest potato producer in the country, and grows 30% of the country's vegetables. The RAF have many bases in this area too, with the main RAF College at Cranwell near Sleaford, and the RAF's AWACS aircraft at RAF Waddington. Interflora has its UK HQ in Sleaford. Fowler-Welch Coolchain are based in Spalding, as is the UK operation of Bakkavör (former Geest) which is the UK's largest provider of fresh prepared foods. Princes (former Premier Foods) have a large operation in Little Sutton near to Long Sutton canning vegetables. William Sinclair is a horticulture company in Lincoln. Magnadata Group in Boston have the contract for the UK's rail tickets (for ATOC). Silver Spoon's Bardney plant makes the market-leading Askey's dessert toppings. John Deere have their UK base at Langar on the Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire boundary next to the former RAF Langar. The British Geological Survey is in Keyworth.


An Orangutan at Twycross Zoo

Skegness and the Lincolnshire coast provides seaside entertainment for many people in the East Midlands with its Butlins resort at Ingoldmells. Nottingham and Leicester are a popular night time destination (often for people outside of the East Midlands). Center Parcs UK is based at the Sherwood Energy Village in New Ollerton. The YHA is based in Matlock. Gala Bingo is based in Nottingham. Twycross Zoo is just south of Measham in Leicestershire, and the National Space Centre is in Belgrave in north Leicester.[21]

Rockingham Motor Speedway is in Corby, and other racetracks include Donington Park and Mallory Park in Leicestershire, and Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire. Silverstone Circuit hosts the British Grand Prix, although the southern half of the track is outside the region. Rutland Water is popular for sailing, fishing and bird-watching. The Peak District is the second most popular national park in the world after Mount Fuji, and Britain's first National Park in 1951.


Secondary education

Most secondary schools in the East Midlands are comprehensives, although Lincolnshire retains fifteen state grammar schools.

There are around 180,000 students in the region's secondary schools; this is the second lowest number of students in a region in England, after the North East, and more than 100,000 lower than the figure for the West Midlands. Some of the East Midlands' urban secondary schools hold truancy rates above that of the national average, whereas truancy rates in the region's rural secondary schools tend to be lower than the national average.

Nottingham City schools tend to perform less well in terms of GCSE standards, with some Leicester schools suffering a similar problem. Rutland (amongst the highest-performing areas in the region where GCSE standards are concerned) has one of the highest percentages of pupils reaching the threshold of five grade A–C GCSEs (including Maths and English) in England. On a District Council level, Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire tends to attain some of the region's best GCSE results. Leicestershire and Derbyshire also regularly tend to produce GCSE results at a standard greater than the national average.

At A-level, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire regularly generate results greater than the national average. Nottingham tends to produce better results at A-level than it does at GCSE.

There are eighteen further education colleges in the region, including: New College Nottingham, Central College Nottingham, Leicester College, and Lincoln College.

The regional Learning and Skills Council was headquartered at the Meridian Business Park in Braunstone Town, south-west of Leicester. The LSC has been replaced by the Young People's Learning Agency,[22] and the Skills Funding Agency.[23]

Based on 2011 A-level results, the top 20 state school in the East Midlands are:

Loughborough University is recognised for its green campus
  1. Caistor Grammar School (1083)
  2. Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School
  3. The King's School, Grantham
  4. The Becket School, West Bridgford
  5. Bourne Grammar School
  6. Queen Elizabeth's High School, Gainsborough
  7. West Bridgford School
  8. Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Ashbourne
  9. Spalding High School
  10. The Priory Academy LSST, Lincoln
  11. Kesteven and Sleaford High School
  12. St Mary's Roman Catholic High School, Chesterfield
  13. Northampton School for Boys
  14. William Farr School, Welton
  15. Friesland School, Sandiacre
  16. Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle
  17. Lady Manners School, Bakewell
  18. The Ferrers School, Higham Ferrers, a specialist arts college
  19. The Ecclesbourne School
  20. Bilborough College, Nottingham (904)


Brackenhurst Hall — Nottingham Trent University's agricultural college in Southwell

The East Midlands' universities include:

University of Nottingham
The region's largest university by student population, with around 33,000 students. The university is often ranked in the British top seven for research power. It is famous for its academic reputation, consistently ranking highly in university league tables. It is the only Russell Group university in the East Midlands. The university has produced several Nobel Prize winners.
Loughborough University
In addition to its more traditional academic work, Loughborough University is well-regarded for its sporting heritage. One notable sporting alumna is British gold-medallist Paula Radcliffe. The British Olympic athletics team trained at the university as part of their preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The adidas Jabulani football, the official football for the 2010 World Cup, was designed in the university's Sports Technology Institute.[24]
Nottingham Trent University
Nottingham Trent University is the East Midlands' second largest university (and one of the largest universities in the United Kingdom), with a student population of approximately 24,000.
University of Leicester
The university is famous for Alec Jeffreys and DNA profiling, and well known for its astronomy work.
De Montfort University
The region's third largest university.
University of Northampton
The only university in Northamptonshire, with two campuses in Northampton and a developing partnership with Silverstone.
University of Derby
Formerly a centre and college for teacher training, Derby University works closely with businesses of the area with its University of Derby–Corporate programme and has a history of academics dating back to 1851.
University of Lincoln
An English university founded in 1992, with origins tracing back to the foundation and association with the Hull School of Art 1861.
Bishop Grosseteste University
The newest university in the East Midlands, formerly a university college.

The region has the lowest proportion of part-time students in England. The region 'imports' more young people into the region at the university stage than it 'exports' into other regions' universities. Only 25% of the region's students undertaking a first degree are native to the region.



The East Midlands is home to several professional and semi-professional football clubs.
Team Location League
Alfreton Town Derbyshire Conference National
Chesterfield Chesterfield League One
Derby County Derby Championship
Leicester City Leicester Premier League
Lincoln City Lincoln Conference National
Mansfield Town Mansfield League Two
Northampton Town Northampton League Two
Nottingham Forest Nottinghamshire Championship
Notts County Nottingham League One

Local media


The Waltham on the Wolds transmitter covers large parts of the region


Radio Northampton's Broadcasting House


There are a number of daily newspapers, the largest of which include the Derby Telegraph, Derbyshire Times, Leicester Mercury, Lincolnshire Echo, Northampton Chronicle and Echo, and Nottingham Evening Post. Most of the daily papers are owned by Northcliffe Media.


There are many regional lifestyle publications, the largest and most widely read being: Life&Style Magazine, FHP Magazine, Nottinghamshire Life and City Life and County Living. National magazine publishers in the region include Key Publishing, Mortons of Horncastle and Bourne Publishing Group.

See also


  1. ^ East Midlands Geological Society
  2. ^ a b Biodiversity Partnerships
  3. ^ "Regional Transport Strategy: the National Picture".  
  4. ^ "The LTP Process".  
  5. ^ "Derbyshire 2006-11 Local Transport Plan".  
  6. ^ "Leicestershire 2006-11 Local Transport Plan".  
  7. ^ "Lincolnshire 2006-11 Local Transport Plan".  
  8. ^ "Northamptonshire 2006-11 Local Transport Plan".  
  9. ^ "Nottinghamshire 2006-11 Local Transport Plan".  
  10. ^ "Rutland 2006-11 Local Transport Plan".  
  11. ^ "Derby 2006-11 Local Transport Plan".  
  12. ^ "Leicester 2006-11 Local Transport Plan".  
  13. ^ "Nottingham 2006-11 Local Transport Plan".  
  14. ^ "HEFCE 2007 Regional profiles East Midlands". HEFCE. 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  15. ^ LSOA deprivation data
  16. ^ North-south divide
  17. ^ Claimant count
  18. ^ East Midlands 2010 General Election BBC
  19. ^ Manufacturing Advisory Service
  20. ^ AstraZeneca closure
  21. ^ East Midlands Museum Service
  22. ^ YPLA East Midlands
  23. ^ East Midlands Gifted and Talented Partnership
  24. ^ Loughborough Jabulani

External links

  • East Midlands Councils
  • East Midlands Regional Strategy
  • Regional Development Fund
  • Government's list of councils in the East Midlands
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Climate East Midlands

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