Invest in environmental technologies in Yorkshire & Humber

Yorkshire & Humber is at the cutting edge of the UK's clean technologies sector. We’re encouraging investment in the development of new solutions in energy and recycling which avoid the compromising of natural resources. For more information, visit the Invest in Yorkshire website.

Sector size and scope

The environmental technologies sector is strong, well established and diverse in Yorkshire & Humber. It employs 14,000 people in 500 companies. Over 70% of them have their head office here, and more than 64% are already over 10 years old. Between them, they generate sales of over £2bn and help our region to play a major role in emerging domestic markets (worth an estimated £18 billion by 2010).

Meeting the region’s national targets for renewables is expected to stimulate up to £20bn of new investment, and to install 2,000MW of new generating capacity in Yorkshire & Humber alone.

The largest sub-sector is waste management, followed by environmental consultancy, then water and waste-water treatment.

Just under 20% of output is exported, accounting for around £325m. Exports are dominated by a handful of companies in water and waste water.

We’re investing in this sector

Yorkshire Forward is the only one of England’s 9 regional development agencies to have committed to a target of lowering greenhouse gas emissions: by 25% by 2016. That’s one of the reasons Yorkshire Forward has made environmental technologies a ‘priority sector’; targeting investments to help the industry innovate, grow and compete for the future.

We employ a sector manager and ‘strategic sector champion’ for environmental technologies, helping to identify opportunities for innovation through collaboration, and brokering relationships between businesses and the science base. Call Yorkshire Forward on 0113 394 9600 to find out about land availability, special projects and more.

A dedicated business incubation centre

Yorkshire Forward is also investing £8.7m in the Environmental Energy Technology Centre, an incubator building to support more than 30 enterprises engaged in the development of the low-carbon energy market. It will have a unique hydrogen mini-grid energy system, creating a carbon-neutral workspace for emerging energy technology industries.

Power, old and new

Over 17% of the UK's entire electricity production is generated in Yorkshire & Humber. Energy production sites in Yorkshire & Humber include Drax Power Station (currently the largest, cleanest and most efficient coal-fired power station in the UK), and ConocoPhillips CHP plant, one of the world’s largest power stations. The region is also home to the world's largest industrial gas producers.

We have good reason to be proud of our global track record in energy production. But we’re moving from traditional processes to exciting new and greener methods:

  • We have nine universities researching hydrogen and fuel-cell development, catalysis and materials
  • 50% of the UK's developable off-shore wind power is generated here
  • Our region has the UK's only incubator focused exclusively on clean energy
  • We’re home to the National Non-Food Crops Centre, (NNFC) a leading European centre of research into alternative fuels
  • The biodiesel plant at Immingham presents further opportunities for the alternative fuels market.

Working with the universities

Strong relationships exist in our region between the research institutes and environmental businesses. Yorkshire Forward has also set up the Environmental Technologies CIC (Centre of Industrial Collaboration) to foster partnership working between industry and the region’s universities. Find out more about collaborating with our universities.

Funding, support and tax relief

We welcome investment enquiries from UK and overseas companies. R&D tax credits are available for companies in this industry, and there are funding opportunities, too. Read our funding for businesses section, our business support page, and our priority sectors section. If you’re an overseas business interested in investing in Yorkshire & Humber, please also read our inward investment.

The Facts

This sector in our region:

  • employs 14,000 people
  • is home to 500 companies
  • generates sales of over £2bn.