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Business sectors & clusters

West Sussex has a successful and diverse economy, with a high quality workforce and sector and cluster specialisms.

  • Aviation, aerospace and defence

    Gatwick Airport is one of the world’s leading airports. It provides opportunities for a wide range of businesses linked to the aviation, aerospace and defence industry, including Thales UK Ltd, Virgin Atlantic, CAE Electronics and MacCarthy Aviation Holdings. There are also a number of smaller aerospace businesses linked to Goodwood Aerodrome and at Shoreham Airport, where Northbrook College provides high quality, business focused aeronautical engineering training courses.

  • Financial and professional services

    West Sussex has a long track record of financial and professional services businesses locating regional headquarters and intermediate functions in the county. Crawley, Horsham and Worthing all have a strong business and financial services sector, and the Gatwick Diamond is the favoured UK location for many leading financial and professional services businesses, including ASB Law, BDO UK, Deloitte, KPMG, Royal Sun Alliance and Grant Thornton.

  • Health and Life Sciences

    West Sussex County Council and its partners are focussed on building on our existing health and life sciences cluster in the County to position West Sussex as a leading place on the national and international stage for businesses to start, thrive and locate, with a key drive being the creation and retention of high value jobs. For more information please visit Business West Sussex

    Major local companies include Elekta Oncology, Varian Medical Systems, Roche Diagnostics, Kimberley Clark and Toshiba Medical Systems in the Gatwick Diamond and GlaxoSmithKline in Worthing. These are complemented by the growing international reputation of health and life sciences at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals in Brighton, and at the The School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Portsmouth. 

  • Food and drink

    The excellent climate and sunlight make West Sussex one of the UK’s most significant centres for food and drink. The coastal and rural parts of the county have some of the UK’s most important growing businesses, which include Nature's Way Foods, Fargro, Tangmere Airfield Nurseries, and VHB Herbs. Nestle UK and Unilever are both located in Crawley and other well-known and successful local companies include Higgidy Pies, Kate's Cakes and Princes Foods. There are also world leading food and drink research centres in Leatherhead and in Nutfield and a centre for excellence at the Brinsbury campus of the University of Chichester.

  • Advanced manufacturing and engineering

    Few places can boast such diverse advanced engineering credentials as West Sussex. Rolls Royce designs and manufacturers its top of the range vehicles from its base in Chichester; Bowers & Wilkins develops its world-leading loudspeakers from Worthing; the head office and largest of Ricardo's international network of technical is based in Shoreham; and companies like Siemens UK, Edwards Vacuum and Tokyo Electron are based in the Gatwick Diamond.

  • Marine

    Our coastal location and reputation as a high quality yachting destination provides a strong base for our expertise in marine related industries.  We have successful commercial ports at Shoreham and Littlehampton, a popular marina in Chichester Harbour and one of the world’s largest suppliers of systems and services to the marine market, MG Duff International.

  • Tourism

    With the South Downs National Park, popular coastline, high quality cultural and recreational facilities and strong business focus, West Sussex is an excellent location for businesses that serve both business and leisure visitors.  There are business hotels and conference facilities around Gatwick Airport, whilst Butlins Skyline Ltd has maintained its strong presence in Bognor Regis, providing holidays to families throughout the year. 

    West Sussex County Council is also running the West Sussex Weekends campaign to encourage visitors to get active in the County's beautiful outdoors.

  • Digital and creative industries

    The emergence of neighbouring Brighton as a major centre for digital technologies has raised the profile of the creative industries in West Sussex. The Creative Assembly, owned by SEGA, is located in Horsham, whilst Fresh Egg in Worthing has become an established global search engine marketing agency, providing multilingual website design and search engine optimisation.

  • Land management and land based industries

    West Sussex’s natural environment means that land management and land-based industries thrive locally.  Its mild climate and high light levels mean that it is one of the UK’s leading glasshouse areas, whilst its agricultural land provides it with outstanding local produce. Some of our leading horticultural businesses include Tangmere Airfield Nurseries, which produces over 60 million sweet peppers a year, supplying to major supermarkets and wholesalers; Fargro, a leading distributor and supplier of exclusive horticultural products; and VHB Herbs, the leading grower of fresh herbs and seedlings in the UK. The West Sussex Growers' Association (WSGA) represents businesses that have a strong interest in the local horticulture sector

West Sussex is a unique business location. We have an exceptional blend of innovative national and international companies delivering world-class products and services.

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