Morningside Pharmaceuticals were proud headline sponsors of the LeicestershireLive Top 200 Companies List 2019. During the launch breakfast at the Holiday Inn, Leicester, our Chief Executive, Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, delivered a keynote speech to the business leaders, politicians and media in attendance.
Here are extracts from Dr Nik’s speech, which we’ve adjusted slightly into a blog on why Leicestershire has become the largest economy in the East Midlands.
“It’s clear from looking at the list that our county’s economic health is in good shape, despite the current political uncertainty.
So what are the ingredients that make Leicestershire the largest economy in the East Midlands?
An economy that’s worth £23.4 billion a year, provides almost 500,000 jobs and hosts over 42,000 businesses.
What strikes me is the sheer range of sectors which are represented. Maybe it is this diversity, which provides the answer.
This year’s list includes a number of sectors. From Manufacturing & Engineering to Retail, Construction, Advanced Logistics and Life Sciences.
Allow me to look at these sectors one by one.
Manufacturing and engineering boasts well-known brands such as Caterpillar and Samworth Brothers.
This sector has been investing in advanced facilities to enable them to create new technologies, as well as growing their supply chains.
They have also built great links with local colleges to help develop the skills they need. This is essential, if we are going to plug the county’s skills gap.
A large number of our top businesses come from the Retail sector, which includes household names such as Next, Sytner Group and Dunelm.
These companies choose Leicestershire because we have the capabilities, people, heritage and entrepreneurial spirit to succeed.
Construction businesses once again dominate this year’s list with Barratt Developments and Bloor Investments both making the top 5.
The reasons for this growth may include our growing population, the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme and the demand for new homes.
Advanced logistics is another buoyant sector that includes Ceva Logistics and Pall-Ex Group.
Logistics businesses thrive here because of Leicestershire’s central location. East Midlands Airport is also the UK’s busiest pure cargo airport, which is great for exporting.
Our Life Sciences sector includes my company Morningside Pharmaceuticals, as well as Thermo Fisher and Myoderm.
The life sciences sector’s priorities include international trade and export, as well as investing in R & D. To ensure this sector continues to grow; it would be great to see more collaboration between the public sector, business and our three local universities.
Lastly, and this is one for the future: SPACE.
Our future top 200 companies may very well be made up of businesses which specialise in creating groups of satellites. This future focus is coming alive with Space Park Leicester.
This will become a global hub for the UK space industry in years to come.
All of these sectors and businesses clearly emphasise the sheer diversity of our local economy.
It will be this diversity that will ensure our companies continue to adapt to economic changes, and our local economy continues to prosper.
Regional Role of Leicestershire’s Economy
It is also important to reflect on the key role that Leicestershire’s economy and companies play regionally.
In the Midlands our companies are a crucial part of the Midlands Engine.
It has ambitious targets to create 300,000 new jobs and £34 billion worth of growth, over the next 15 years.
Leicestershire’s contribution to the Engine was nicely summed up in PwC’s 2018 Growth Cities’ report.
The report ranked Leicester as Number 10 in the annual list of the best cities to live and work.
The recent Leicester Innovation Week and the Leicestershire Live Innovation Awards were also a great success.
They show that the green shoots for success, and our future Top 200, are already emerging.
However, we need to maximise the potential of the great innovations being developed here.
Leading to the manufacture of the final products in Leicestershire as well.”