Business Sectors

South Derbyshire’s local economy is characterised by a number of key sectors. In each instance the area boasts a particular competitive advantage. Transport equipment manufacturers are able to build on the presence of an extensive base of workforce skills and supply chain businesses. Construction companies benefit from immediate access to raw materials and building product manufacturers. Food & drink operators profit from the District’s numerous agricultural businesses and proximity to the brewing industry in Burton upon Trent and the area’s associated production expertise. Visitor economy enterprises are supported by the rapid development of the National Forest as a major tourist destination. Logistics operators are drawn by the District’s central location in the country and proximity to East Midlands Airport.

Transport Equipment

The District has one of the highest concentrations of employment in manufacturing in the country with over 6,000 workers. There are almost 250 manufacturing businesses in South Derbyshire, with a notable cluster in transport equipment (planes, trains and automobiles). The area is home to globally significant manufacturers and their extensive local supply chains, such as Alstom, Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Rolls Royce and Toyota, which produces the Corolla model at its Burnaston car plant. The sector is heavily clustered in the Midlands and in close proximity are the Donington Park Racing Circuit and the MIRA vehicle testing facility.

Key businesses include: Dellner (rail components), Futaba Manufacturing (car components), Gibson Technology (motor racing powertrains), JCB Power Systems (engines), Toyota Motor Manufacturing (car assembly) and Trelleborg Sealing Solutions (airframe seals).


South Derbyshire has a significant construction sector with over 500 companies employing 2,000 people, ranging from the domestic scale to those involved in major civil engineering projects. There are also numerous consultancy services, such as architects and structural engineers. The District benefits from the proximity of raw materials, such as aggregates extracted from the Trent Valley. In addition, South Derbyshire is home to a number of large businesses manufacturing and distributing construction products, including leading innovators in their fields.

Key businesses include: Cemex (aggregates and concrete), Central Joinery (staircases), FAKRO (roof windows and loft ladders), Guardian Insulation Solutions, Hanson Aggregates (materials), JB Kind Doors, Keystone Group (lintels, roof windows and masonry supports), Roger Bullivant (foundation engineering), Tarmac (plasters and renders), TopHat Industries (modular homes) and TwoTwenty (staircases).

Food and Drink

There are some 300 agricultural-related businesses in the District, the majority of which are small family businesses. At the opposite end of the scale, multinational food processors include the Nestlé factory at Hatton producing coffee and Dolce Gusto coffee machine capsules, and MEG Derby bottling soft drinks for Lidl. The sector includes suppliers of production equipment and materials, which have their origins in the brewing industry in Burton upon Trent. The District’s two superstores are amongst its larger employers.

Key businesses include: Able Engineering (stainless steel fabrication), Aldi (retail), Avara Foods (poultry processing), IVC Brunel Healthcare (vitamin and nutritional supplements), Lidl (retail), MEG Derby (bottling), MUSK Process Services (process engineering), Naturex (natural ingredients), Nestlé (coffee), Sainsbury’s (retail), and WM Morrisons (retail).

Visitor Economy

The National Forest now supports almost 5,000 jobs in the tourism and leisure industry. In South Derbyshire there are over 200 businesses providing accommodation and food services, together with a much larger number of businesses in associated retailing and service industries. There are a further 75 companies in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector. The area’s visitor economy businesses are predominantly small, such as Bed & Breakfasts, but also include national chains such as Premier Inn and Prezzo. Mercia Marina at Willington on the Trent & Mersey Canal has developed into a major attraction in recent years with restaurants, shops and cafés, whilst The Pipeworks has brought a cinema and additional food & drink outlets to Swadlincote.

Key facilities include: Beehive Farm Woodland Lakes, Derby Mickleover Hotel, National Trust Calke Abbey, Days Inn Donington, Hotel Ibis Budget Derby, Mercia Marina, Odeon Cinema, Premier Inn Burton upon Trent East, Rosliston Forestry Centre, Sharpe’s Pottery Museum, Swadlincote Family Golf Centre and Swadlincote Snowsports Centre.


South Derbyshire lies just to the north of the so-called “golden logistics triangle” of the Midlands. There are over 200 businesses engaged in transport and storage in the District, employing approximately 2,250 people and ranging from independent couriers to multinational companies. Some are directly linked to the area’s major manufacturers, whilst others relate to the growth in online shopping. The importance of the sector reflects South Derbyshire’s location on an east-west axis (the A50) in the centre of the national road network and in close proximity to East Midlands Airport – the largest dedicated air cargo operation in the country.

Key businesses include: ATL (Ascott Transport Limited), DG Light Haulage, Eddie Stobart, GXO Logistics, Restore Records Management, Riva Transport, The Pallet Network, The Swain Group, WestRock and Yusen Logistics.

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