Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing

Dorset is a thriving hub for Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing (AEM), where 17,000 skilled workers drive over a £1 billion annual contribution to the local economy. The AEM sector has seen 18% GVA growth over the last five years. The region presents boundless opportunities for growth, attracting forward-thinking businesses eager to tap into its potential. Supported by national trade associations like Make UK and Maritime UK South West, Dorset boasts a robust supply chain and boasts more than 300 foreign-owned companies.

Renowned organisations such as the Dorset Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster further enrich the region’s collaborative environment. With major primes and their supply chains already flourishing, Dorset offers fertile ground for expansion and partnership.


A powerhouse in High Tech Manufacturing & R&D, Dorset proffers a rich base of research and development alongside high-tech manufacturing expertise, maintaining a highly skilled and adaptive AEM supply chain across various industries. In the realm of Marine & Composite Technologies, Dorset excels in boatbuilding, design, manufacturing and servicing, leveraging its expansive ports like Poole Harbour and Portland Port for developing and testing underwater defence equipment. It’s also a hub for composite technologies used in marine, aerospace, and renewable energy sectors. The region’s proud naval history positions it at the forefront of Maritime Defence, with Dorset Innovation Park hosting defence leaders and offering strategic advantages like Enterprise Zone Status and simplified planning for defence contracts. The region is home to several Ministry of Defence Centres of Excellence, including the Royal Marines, the Royal Corps of Signals and The Royal Armoured Corps.

Dorset is more than just a location; it's a dynamic ecosystem of innovation, collaboration, and limitless possibilities.


GVA 2021


Employment numbers

Case Studies