Manufacturing and Engineering in South Lakeland
For an area more commonly associated with its outstanding and beautiful natural environment, South Lakeland also enjoys a healthy international reputation for innovative manufacturing and engineering.
Industry leader GlaxoSmithKline opened its manufacturing site in the district in 1948, producing, amongst other pharmaceutical ingredients, Cephalosporin, used to fight infectious diseases, which helps to treat an estimated 50 million patients worldwide each year. GlaxoSmithKline recently chose Ulverston as the UK site for its new biopharmaceuticals facility and is investing £350 million in its construction. This facility will create 500 new jobs in the local area.
One of the most established and highly regarded companies in South Lakeland is James Cropper PLC, manufacturers of speciality papers, whose operations can be traced back to 1753. Croppers is responsible for the paper in 80% of the UK’s hardback books and is most famous for the paper used in the Royal British Legion's poppies. Based just outside Kendal, Croppers has also set an industry world first, developing the technology to recycle disposable coffee cups into high quality paper products.
Ulverston boasts a cluster of engineering companies operating within the highly-specialised sub-sea exploration sector. Siemens, the leading international oilfield services company, has invested significantly in a purpose-built £12 million ‘Subsea Excellence Centre’ with a production area the size of a football pitch boasting impressive ‘green’ credentials.
These larger operations sit alongside traditional and smaller companies who all play an important role in the infrastructure of the manufacturing and engineering economy of South Lakeland; many support their larger counterparts and are capable of making their own mark on the national stage.
Kendal-based Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd, established in 1856, has grown to become a globally-renowned and highly-acclaimed manufacturer of hydropower turbines and engine cooling pumps. Today the company boasts a Royal Warrant and employs more than 150 highly-skilled people. Gilkes exports to 87 countries worldwide and operates from bases in North America and Japan.
The Invest in South Lakeland team at South Lakeland District Council is committed to working with business to open up new industrial sites, encourage investment and enhance the strong business networks already in place. Contact us for assistance if you are considering setting up a manufacturing or engineering base in the area.