North Kesteven’s economy is dynamic and diverse. Small and micro business predominate with larger businesses and their supply chains operating and servicing key sectors.
Food & Farming is North Kesteven’s biggest sector by employment and GDP. Perhaps unsurprising given its rural geography, over 90% its 100,000ha is devoted to agriculture, principally cereals and other arable crops with some fruit and vegetables. NK is also one of the largest poultry farming areas in the UK with over 6M chickens providing meat and eggs for a diverse processing sector. Food processing is the largest employment sector with significant global players like Moy Park, Tulip, Noble Foods, Sleaford Quality Foods and Branston Ltd long-established and still growing in the district. The sector is expected to continue to perform strongly with an ambitious growth plan backed by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Manufacturing and Engineering are traditional strengths of the Greater Lincoln area with the LN6 business district famous for some of the biggest names like Siemens at Teal Park or Lincat and Lincoln Precision Engineering on Whisby Road while in the south of the district Sleaford-based SHD Composites flies the flag for manufacturing with the latest composite technologies across a variety of international sectors from aerospace to automotive.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given its long association with the RAF (NK hosts three operational bases at RAF Cranwell, RAF Digby and RAF Waddington) Defence Industries are playing an increasingly important part in the growth and prosperity of the district with companies like Northrop Grumman, BAE, Inzpire and 3SDL creating innovative products and services competing successfully in UK and global markets.
Construction and development industries will play a key role in delivering on ambitious housing and infrastructure plans throughout the district. 15,000 new homes and 14,000 jobs plus ambitious regenerations plans Sleaford town centre will require the skills and expertise of the range of professionals with local companies like Lindum Group, Taylor Pearson, Smith’s Sports & Civils, Sleaford Building Services, Melbourne Holdings and Hodgson Bros all to the fore in helping to bring forward important housing, employment and regeneration projects.
Tourism plays an important role in any flourishing rural economy. The Visitor Economy in NK is worth approximately £108M a year and supports more than 1800 FTE across a range of attractions from Countryside and Aviation Heritage with 2.2million visitors a year enjoying historic sites and buildings in the Heart of Lincolnshire. NKDC operates sites at Cogglesford Mill, Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum and Navigation House and is currently delivering a £600,000 Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Fund to restore Mrs Smith’s Cottage which will reopen in April 2020.