Nottingham is part of the Core Cities Group, having been identified by the government as one of the ‘powerhouses’ of Britain’s economy. This thriving city is the regional capital of the East Midlands and is one of the country’s top five retail centres. It also has a strong business community that generates a GDP of over £11.2 billion, placing it in the top five of Britain’s strongest local economies.
Famous for the enduring legend of Robin Hood, there has been a settlement at Nottingham since at least Saxon times. The city was once a renowned centre for the export of religious sculpture, which was the basis of its early prosperity. It grew significantly during the Industrial Revolution and became even more prosperous as it became a leading manufacturer and exporter of lace. However, as with so much British manufacturing industry, this fell into decline following World War II in the face of competition from cheaper Asian manufacturers, leaving Nottingham to face a future as a post-industrial service economy.
Nottingham is a regional administrative centre and as such the public sector is the major employer in the city, accounting for somewhere nears a third of all jobs in the city. The Nottingham City Council, the Nottingham shire Healthcare NHS Trust and the Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust employ some 30,000 workers in the public administration, health and education sectors. Also in the public sector, around 2,000 are employed with HM Revenue and Customs which shifted its national headquarters to Nottingham in 1997.
The city’s legal, financial and business services sector is continuing to grow and has become a major employer. Nottingham has already become established as a regional finance centre, with several major banking, insurance, legal and consultancy businesses now represented in the city, including Eversheds, Deloitte, Capital One and Fortis Bank to name but a few. It also forging strong international links, notably with that burgeoning Asian powerhouse China.
Nottingham’s strong retail sector, which generates over £1.3 billion annually, is another of the city’s major employers. This is hardly surprising given that it ranks as Britain’s fifth best shopping destination and boasts over 1,100 stores, one of the favourite shopping areas being the Intu Victoria Centre that boasts over 120 shops, stores and restaurants all under one roof.
One of Nottingham’s important growth areas is in creative industries, where the main focus is on interiors and graphic and textile design. The city has already attracted several small design businesses to the area and counts among its new residents Jupiter, designers of communication for retailers and brand owners, and Purple Circle, the award-winning design and digital agency.
The fastest growing sector, however, is probably science and technology. Designated a ‘Science City’ in 2005, Nottingham has built on its already significant achievements in the field and, with already over 60,000 people employed in the sector, has plans for considerable further growth over the coming 20 years. Engineering firm Rolls Royce and pharmaceutical researcher AstraZeneca are among the major players in this sector that have a presence in the city, while Boots Plc has its headquarters there.
Science, research and development facilities in Nottingham can be found in the heart of the city at BioCity, which houses bioscience businesses, and the Nottingham Science Park, where several science, technology and research and development companies are located. Park Row, near the city centre, is home to several professional businesses, like KPMG and the Bank of England, while NG2 is one of Nottingham’s leading business parks.
With its already successful economy and a job growth rate some three times faster than the national average, Nottingham is an ideal place for jobseekers looking for an exciting job in a progressive city. Check out the Randstad UK for the latest jobs in the area.