Manufacturing in Nottingham – a blow or opportunity

This week we saw the announcement by Imperial Tobacco to close their Nottingham factory and warehouse. The loss of 500+ jobs is not entirely helpful.


The East Midlands has around 300,000 workers in manufacturing – a decline of 40% in 25 years. Coal was a major blow – 60,000 people worked in that industry. Raleigh was lost 10 years ago as a major manufacturer.

What has happened is that there has been a shift – 1.5m now work in the service sector – 866% growth over the same 25 year term.

And we are told that there are now 155,000 people working in “Science” in Nottingham – BioCity and Boots are key players.

I was watching Animal Planet last night – an amazing piece of filming. But also a reminder how animals (apes in particular) learn how to adapt. From the apes who worked out how to get honey from a drilled hole to Kanzi who had learned to toast marshmallows on a fire (and order food by mobile phone). The point was that primates learn how to adapt.

And this is what we are doing. We are learning to adapt – the world is changing. We might not like it in the short term – but we must learn to adapt.

Those cities which embrace change will survive. If we don’t learn to do this we won’t survive. There is little point fighting against the changing circumstances. In the case of Players cigarettes the volume of cigarettes is falling – there is an inevitability to a shift in social fashions.

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