In the Haven Gateway, advanced manufacturing employs around 9,400 people (approximately 2.5% of all employment) and accounts for around 500 businesses. It is a relatively small – although high value – element of the overall manufacturing sector, which employs around 30,000 people in the Haven Gateway.
Employment has grown in the sector in recent years in the Haven Gateway, particularly compared with Essex and Suffolk, where districts with historically large concentrations of advanced manufacturing – especially Basildon and Harlow – experienced contraction. Employment growth in advanced manufacturing is particularly striking set against the continuing long-term decline in manufacturing employment generally, a fall of 8.6% in the Haven Gateway in 2009-15, compared with a fall of 11.9% in Essex and Suffolk overall.
Key employers in this sub-sector include Fläkt Woods, an air-technology equipment company established in Colchester in 1909, subsequently owned by GEC Marconi and now part of an Anglo-Swedish group; Ransomes Jacobsen at Ipswich, a long-established mower manufacturer owned by the American Textron Group; and Bosch garden machinery at Stowmarket. Around 1,000 people are also employed in the automotive sector: MAN Diesel and Turbo is based at Colchester. The defence-related sector is fairly small, although Rockford, based at Woodbridge, is a large provider of wiring and systems solutions for the defence, marine, aerospace and nuclear sectors and has recently expanded through the acquisitions within the UK. PACE (Precision Aerospace Component Engineering) based in Braintree, also manufactures high performance components for military and commercial aircraft.