Siemens in the Northern Powerhouse

Hull, Nov 5 - Nov 6, 2019

Northern Powerhouse Energy Conference

Siemens is proud to be sponsoring the Northern Powerhouse Energy Conference. This two day event will bring together local authorities, government, policy leaders and industry to discuss decarbonisation of energy and clean growth in the North. Our incoming UK CEO Carl Ennis will be on the opening panel and leading an integrated energy workshop later in the day.


To realise its position as a leading global economy, the infrastructure of the Northern Powerhouse needs to be ‘best in class’. This publication is a first glance at how this would look.

This publication will focus on the critical infrastructure sectors, and their importance to the success of the Northern Powerhouse, as well as the investment that needs to be made to build skills and expertise in these sectors which can then support a thriving economy and successful industry.

Siemens is a long term investor in the north of England.

Siemens is a major employer across the north of England with ten significant  facilities in the region, employing over 6,000 people and over 200 apprentices. From the manufacturer of variable speed drives in Cheshire, to the production of gas turbines in Newcastle, as well as the development of the UK’s first wind turbine blade manufacturing facility in Hull - we are at the heart of a productive and highly skilled Northern Powerhouse.    We have recently announced plans to establish a new state-of-the-art factory to manufacture and commission trains in Goole. This development, which could mean an investment of up to £200m, is a major step forward for Siemens’ journey in the Northern Powerhouse.   


We are investing in the north’s graduate and R&D capacity too. We recently opened two digital innovation labs at Newcastle University and Sheffield University. The Mindsphere Innovation Network will help digitalise University assets and prepare regional graduates with new skills.


Siemens already partners with educational providers across the region, e.g. University of Manchester, a ‘principle partner University’ supporting technology research. We are also working with the University of Salford supporting an automation degree and Trafford College backing local apprentices. This is on top of partnerships with University Technical Colleges in Sheffield, Hull and Crewe.

Northern Powerhouse – external landscape

  • A new business opens in the Northern Powerhouse every 10 minute
  •  Sunderland builds more cars than the whole of Italy
  • Yorkshire has created more new jobs than the whole of France since 2014
  •  The North is home to 15 million people and over 1 million private sector businesses within a geographical catchment area from Liverpool to Hull and Sheffield to Newcastle – which if it was an independent country would rank within the top half dozen economies in Europe.
  • With seven international airports, twelve major ports and 20 universities, the region is responsible for 25% of the UK’s total manufacturing output and almost one third of the UK’s total renewable electricity. Additionally, in the three months to August 2016, the North achieved a record employment rate of 72.6%
  • If it were a country, the Northern Powerhouse would have the tenth biggest economy in Europe.
  •  If it had competed at the 2012 Olympic Games it would have come sixth, ahead of Germany, France and Australia.

Digitalisation in the north

  Newcastle has a strong tradition of manufacturing and Siemens is proud to have a strong manufacturing presence in the region. One of the things that encourages investment in manufacturing is a commitment to being at the cutting edge of new technologies – and right now for the North East we see significant potential for the region to become a leader in digital business.  

Using digital technologies to transform business operations, is a key lever that will enable UK companies to remain competitive. Digitalisation promises lower costs, improved production quality, flexibility and efficiency, shorter response time to customer requests and market demands.

Only the North has the history, the foundations and the people capable of rejuvenating industry. The unique characteristics of the Northern Powerhouse mean that this region can and must lead this new Industrial Revolution. Our industrial heritage of making, building and innovating led to the North exporting goods all over the world, and we have the tools to do so again.

Jobs and the nature of jobs is central to this revolution. There is no doubt that automation will do away with many of the factory-floor type jobs; service-level roles that do not traditionally require a high level of skill. The Northern Powerhouse Partnership aims to create 850,000 new jobs by 2050 – but there is little point in creating more of these unskilled, service jobs. We need to create jobs building, servicing and programming the robots, designing the software, making best use of the 3D printers. Advanced manufacturing will create savings for organisations, streamlining the way they operate and allowing them to reinvest in other areas. 

The Northern Powerhouse - let's make it work for everyone!

There is no reason why the next tech pioneer, the next Spotify or WhatsApp or industrial Artificial Intelligence leader cannot be created in Sheffield, Leeds, Sunderland or anywhere else in our great region.

At Siemens, we’re so confident about this, that we have recently opened our second digital university innovation lab at Newcastle University. It is tasked with accelerating regional digitalisation, boosting digital skills for graduates - promoting technology and knowledge exchange to meet the needs of an increasingly digitalised society. 

Read Juergen's full blog article

Our UK CEO Juergen Maier has lead a piece of work as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy looking at how we can win back our winning streak in this new Industrial Revolution. We have called this new movement ‘Made Smarter’.

The unique characteristics of the Northern Powerhouse mean that this region can and must lead this new ‘Made Smarter’ Industrial Revolution. A region of 15 million people, working together across traditional rivalries and boundaries in some of the most vibrant, productive and diverse cities, towns and communities in the UK. 

The north can create and lead a new 21st century industrial revolution and in doing so can be at the forefront of brand new industries and brand new companies.
Juergen Maier, CEO Siemens UK

The Northern Powerhouse 'must lead the next Industrial Revolution'

Speaking on 10th May to an invited audience of northern industrialists and young engineers at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the man behind the industrial digitalisation review said a new digital Industrial Revolution could see 175,000 new jobs over 10 years, mainly skilled jobs in engineering, software and design.   He said: “Leading the next Industrial Revolution cannot be done from Whitehall; it cannot be done from London. It can only be done in the North."