It is commonly known that the region benefits economically from both agriculture and tourism. However, due to its geographical location it benefits form a variety of industries that are located within the larger settlements of the area.
There is a good road and rail transport network that makes both the London and Midlands markets easily accessible. There are also good links with Europe as a result of a number of ports being located across the eastern coastline. Ipswich benefits from both its location on the coast, a strong agricultural community and its relative closeness to London. Originally most of the industries found in the town have had close links with the local farmers such as Ransomes, Sims and Jeffers Ltd who made the world’s first ever motorised lawn mower.
Today the industry in the town is more diverse with around 10% of the jobs being found in manufacturing. The biggest growth areas are in the service industry and also healthcare. The largest employers today found in the port, in insurance services with AXA, Legal and General, and Churchill all having offices in the town.
In Norwich the manufacturing sector is not quite as high with only being 8% being employed in the manufacturing industry. The city has a large percentage of its employment in the business and financial services sector, the public services and the retail industry. For years Norwich has been the home of the manufacturing of Coleman’s mustard. Founded in 1814 it continues to operate from its factory at Carrow. A new development is the creation of the Norwich Research Park which was opened in 2012.
The park works closely with East Anglia University which was opened in 2012. There are now over 30 companies in the park which are all technology based with many involved in research. Both the Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Centre have bases in the park.
The research and development sector is even larger in Cambridge and is most probably the largest in the UK. Widely known as Silicon Fen, the close proximity to the research centres at the university and its large pool of highly educated students, has meant that the city has an ideal location for high tech industries. Cambridge has made the most of this and numerous industries have grown in the many science parks in the area. The University actually owns or leases numerous buildings in the parks, and some businesses have been created from this situation. The largest research and development centre in Western Europe, the Cambridge Science Park, is owned by Trinity College.
Originally the city’s industry was based around it being at the centre of a number of transport route-ways with Cambridge acting as a regional trading post. The market attracted merchants from all over the country and the River Cam was particularly influential in the economic success of the region.
Peterborough’s industry is tied closely to the fact that in 1994 it was designated as one of the four environmental cities in the UK. It was given a regeneration plan that ran until 2012 and in recent years has one of the fastest growing economies in the United Kingdom. A lot of the new industries attracted into the city were in the environmental good and service sector. It has the largest group of environmental businesses in the country and the levels of unemployment are among the lowest in the nation.
The industry in East Anglia is quite unique as it has been fast to follow national trends. The lighter nature of it has proved to be an important ingredient in its success as its flexibility means that it has not followed outdated practices and the region is proving to be a success economically.