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A city of pioneers

Innovation is in our DNA: Nottingham is a place that values research and champions visionaries.

specialist facilities

Nottingham has always had a passion for innovation. It’s one of the many reasons the city continues to attract some of the UKs most inspired academics and researchers. Even back to the 1800’s, when millinery production techniques developed here revolutionised the fashion and lace industries, the brightest minds have flourished here.

Our industrial heritage has shaped the city. The Lace Market area of Nottingham has been its commercial and cultural sector since the Middle Ages, and you’ll find references to our innovative past everywhere you look. From the moment William Lee invented his game changing knitting machine in 1768, Nottingham began a period of radical change.

Requirements of this growing industry defined the city’s geographical layout with the need for mills, factories and living quarters, and by the 1840’s, lace making was changing from a domestic industry into an international export.

Nottingham has always had a reputation as a place where “people design and make things”. That’s a distinct calling card, and one anyone considering a career in Nottingham should take encouragement from.

Our city  is home to some of the UK’s biggest healthcare and financial employers, such as Boots, Capital One, Experian and the Inland Revenue. It’s also renowned for being a place of scientific discovery and entrepreneurship. Both ibuprofen and MRI were invented here, and some of the best brains in the fields of nanotechnology, cancer research and biosciences are based here too.

BioCity Discovery Building
BioCity Nottingham


BioCity Nottingham is a ground-breaking healthcare and bioscience innovation and incubation centre offering tenancy, support and conference facilities for the thriving biosciences community. It has is one of the largest centres of its kind in the UK and Europe. Significantly, BioCity Nottingham was made possible by a huge donation of laboratory and office buildings and equipment from BASF to NTU in 2001 (in what is believed to be the largest ever corporate donation to a new university). As you can see, real-world tangible investment in Nottingham innovation began a long time ago.

BioCity is a success story of partnership and cooperation and is the result of an effective collaboration between Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and the East Midlands Development Agency.

Students directly benefit from the facilities and employment opportunities generated by BioCity and the associated biosciences community in Nottingham.

Confetti Creative Quarter
The Creative Quarter

The Creative Quarter

The Creative Quarter is becoming Nottingham's first choice destination for students, businesses, investors, locals and visitors to work, learn, live and have fun. The city is one of the UK’s leaders when it comes to the creative digital industries; testament to the way it supports and nurtures creative minds and those prepared to challenge norms and ask “why not?”

Creative digital technologies really are the future. In terms of annual growth, the sector’s compound annual growth rate has exceeded that of any other private sector industry since 2008, and Nottingham’s status as a key player is growing. In 2018, the city climbed five places to make it into the top ten of the CBRE’s UK Creative Regions rankings.

The report cited Nottingham’s increased number of employees in information and communications, and the wider region’s position ahead of other European locations in their ‘Growth Cluster’ peer group, having consistently achieved double digit growth in high-tech employment since 2010.

The Creative Quarter Company, owned jointly by NTU and Nottingham City Council, is a catalyst and an enabler of Nottingham's future success. Here they encourage the growth of the city's creative economy and support its creative businesses wherever they are based.

In the specific geography of the Creative Quarter (roughly described as Hockley, The Lace Market, Sneinton Market and BioCity) they support businesses in the sectors, particularly helping creative and digital businesses to start-up, grow and thrive.


The Midlands Engine

Located in the East Midlands, Nottingham is part of a region comprising 800,000 large and small businesses over 10 million people. Initiatives like the Midlands Engine bring Nottingham and neighbouring cities together to make them a great place to live, visit, learn and work. The partnership has an inspiring remit to deliver a radical transformation of the Midlands transport network, addressing the needs of businesses and residents, and increasing innovation and enterprise, creating an environment where our science and innovation strengths are maximised.

As well as promoting Nottingham and the wider Midlands area as a centre for growth, the Midlands Engine has a particular remit to work together with private sector partners and the Department for International Trade (DIT) to showcase the region’s portfolio on a wider, global platform.

Nottingham is clearly a place for innovative businesses and individuals to thrive.

Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade

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