The Yorkshire and Humber region has a diverse and thriving range of industries that use bio-based raw materials. It has particular strengths in the bioenergy, bio-based chemicals and food and drink sectors. These businesses range from multinationals to thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises working in the bioeconomy.
Biofuels and biorefineries
The region leads the UK in the production and use of biofuels to create bioenergy. It is home to many innovative companies finding new ways to generate energy from biomass, crop residues and wastes.
- Drax is the UK’s largest power plant and is investing millions to become largely biomass-fuelled.
- Family company Brocklesby specialises in converting vegetable oil and other food waste into energy.
- Vivergo is Europe’s largest bioethanol producer, and is set to make around half of the UK’s current demand.
Food and drink
The Yorkshire and Humber region has the largest concentration of food and drink businesses in the UK, contributing £1.7 billion to the regional economy. The region is widely recognised for the quality and diversity of its food producers.
- Nestlé’s Product Technology Centre in York provides novel technologies and products as well as technical assistance to food companies around the world.
- Yorkshire is home to over 80 real ale breweries producing almost a third of the UK’s beer.
- Household names Arla, Quorn, Mars, McCain and Young’s all have bases in the region.
We support this sector through our work to find more value from food waste.
Yorkshire and the Humber has one of the biggest concentrations of chemical companies in the country. Many of these companies are using bio-based raw materials.
- More than 450 chemical companies are based here, accounting for 10% of the UK’s chemistry-related activity.
- Croda is a global leader in natural-based speciality chemicals, headquartered in East Yorkshire.
- Australian chemical manufacturer Circa has recently established a Yorkshire base to access local knowledge and expertise.
- Yorkshire SME Advanced Extraction Technology is extracting high-value, plant-based compounds for use in the personal care and pharmaceutical industries.