Engineering & Manufacturing

Home to over 4,000 advanced engineering companies; Greater Birmingham is a hub of advanced engineering activity

Birmingham is in the top region for Advanced Engineering employment


Birmingham was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution earning titles such as ‘Workshop of the World’ and ‘City of a Thousand Trades.’ This early industrial heritage aided the development of the Advanced Engineering sector, which began with bicycles, progressed to motor vehicles, and has now led to ground-breaking developments in hydrogen fuel cell, electric and hybrid vehicle technology.

The West Midlands has one of the strongest automotive industries in the world. There are more than 2,000 specialist automotive firms in the region, employing close to 50,000 people in vehicle manufacturing and just fewer than 160,000 in the wider advanced engineering sector. 

Aerospace is also a globally integrated industry within the region with core competencies in systems that power and control aircraft.

Key Facts

  • There are 113,500 employees in Advanced Engineering
  • Manufacturing and engineering contributes £13 billion to the West Midlands Combined Authority economy
  • Greater Birmingham accounts for 42% of the UK’s automotive Research & Development

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A centre for manufacturing since the beginning of the industrial revolution, Birmingham now hosts a range of high-technology manufacturing businesses across a number of industries including aerospace, automotive and medical technology.

Advanced manufacturing businesses in Birmingham, especially those with larger workforces, tend to be located outside the city centre in industrial areas with good road or rail connections.

Birmingham is also host to a number of high value manufacturers, most notably Jaguar Land Rover. The firm epitomises an operation that requires elements of advanced manufacturing processes throughout its support chain.

Key Companies

Below is a list of the Top 10 strategic companies in and around Birmingham, representing the biggest and best of the region's Engineering & Manufacturing thriving local industry:

Jaguar Land Rover
Rolls Royce Controls and Data Services
Pirelli Tyres
UTC Aerospace
ThyssenKrupp Tallent
The London Electric Vehicle Company 
Aston Martin

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Membership Organisations

Manufacturing Technology Centre
The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) develops and proves innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions.

Made in the Midlands
Made in the Midlands is a privately run peer group for MD's and CEO's of Manufacturing and Engineering firms in the Midlands.

West Midlands Manufacturing Club
The West Midlands Manufacturing Club is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the growth of manufacturing in the West Midlands region.


Skills & Talent

The region boasts access to eight local universities that produce over 52,000 graduates per year, of which, nearly 36,000 are in core subjects such as science, engineering and business. The University of Birmingham is a key founding partner in the development of the £40 million Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).

The University of Birmingham also specialises in advanced materials, castings technology, low-carbon vehicles, new fuels, engine testing, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering, computational engineering and is home to the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre. Birmingham City University's work in engine calibration and control has seen them develop further research into emissions control, fuel and power developments.

Aston University have an expanding research group called Power Engineering and Power Electronics which undertakes research into both theoretical and practical aspects of power electronics and its impact on electrical power networks. Science City Research Alliance brings together two leading research universities, the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick, in collaborative projects in advanced materials and energy and low-carbon technologies.


Discover More about cutting edge industries in the region

Learn why a city with more professional and financial services companies than Bristol, Manchester or Edinburgh is ranked by fDI Intelligence as having one of the highest quality workforces in Europe.