Although the Chemistry Council is widely dispersed across the UK, there are four regions where there is a significant amount of industry. These regions represent a large proportion of manufacturing and employment in the sector (Figure 14) and are:

  • Teesside in the North East
  • Ellesmere Port, Runcorn and Rocksavage in the North West
  • Grangemouth in Scotland
  • Yorkshire and Humber

The regional clusters are supported by industry-sponsored regional groups such as NEPIC (North East of England Process Industry Cluster), CSS (Chemical Sciences Scotland), CNW (Chemicals Northwest) and CATCH/YCF (Your Connected Future). Regional economic growth and productivity could be enhanced and driven by modest funding of these regional cluster bodies.

These four regional clusters have significant assets and capabilities that could be further enhanced to support growth in industry and jobs. Current assets include:

  •  Deep sea ports for import/export of materials
  • Key raw materials
  • Invested and under-utilised infrastructure such as underground pipelines
  • Storage and logistics capabilities
  • Range of industry, technology and services
  • Skilled workforce
  • Industrial symbiosis and waste optimisation capability
  • Engineering and technical support for businesses

Three key programmes have been identified to drive economic growth and productivity, these being supporting shale gas production, introducing private wire network arrangements, and establishing free ports. Regional growth will come from a focus on building cost-competitive locations for investment, with appropriate facilities and capabilities to support SME growth and export growth.

Northern Powerhouse

Total turnover in Northern Powerhouse – £27bn

Number of companies – 728

Number of Employees – 96,000

Source: Consultations with Chemistry Council Regions Working Group (2018)

Note: It should be noted that whilst some of the sector is located outside these four clusters, they are important for driving growth, establishing new technologies at a commercial scale and supporting inward investment.