Royal Academy launches Engineering Economy and Place research report

Jul 5, 2023

Engineering Economy & Place title card

The Royal Academy of Engineering has launched a new research report in collaboration with Metro Dynamics looking at the engineering economy of the UK. This contributes around £646bn gross value added to the UK economy every year, or 32% of the total economic output of the UK. The report warns that, without action to implement a place-based approach to engineering policy, the UK risks hindering the growth of its economy.

The Engineering economy and place report takes a detailed look at place-based engineering across the UK, its focus being broader than traditional analysis by sector to look closely at what type, what context and how much engineering is happening, and where.

The report looks across the UK to see how this breaks down across the UK engineering landscape. By using the metrics of total number of jobs in engineering, the value of those jobs, the proportion of local employment in engineering and the specialised natures of the engineering businesses, the report identifies 5 types of engineering economies in the UK.

These 5 types are:

  • High flying innovators – where specialised engineering research and development activities drive collectively high value output in highly populated areas.
  • Embedded engineering – where engineering isn’t necessarily dominant but like to have an important local role as an employment provider and driver of growth.
  • Local engines – where engineering accounts for at least 25% of employment. This includes places with major engineering employers as well as places with high concentrations of engineering businesses.
  • Volume heavyweights – where engineering is high-density and high-volume in cities as well as more rural areas, leading to the largest engineering employment footprints in the UK. These equate to 28% of the UK engineering economy
  • Value hotspots – where high paid engineering jobs are more prevalent than elsewhere. These are high value, but lower in volume and based in city locations.

To read more, explore the data and to download the full report visit

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