Economic hubs are where economic activity is concentrated (e.g. they often have lots of businesses). They have economic influence beyond the hub itself (e.g. companies located in the hub may trade with companies in other countries).
Economic hubs can occur at a range of scales from an entire region to a single street within a city. Economic hubs are often found in cities, or in science/business parks on the outskirts of cities, where there are good transport links and links with universities. Many of these economic hubs in the UK have a high concentration of tertiary and quaternary industries.
In the UK, economic hubs are concentrated in SE England, with cities such as London, Brighton and Cambridge experiencing more rapid growth in new businesses and jobs than cities elsewhere in the UK. To dilute this concentration, the UK government is encouraging investment outside of the south-east and many companies are setting up sites in other areas.
Current economic hubs and their economic activities include:
- Aberdeen – centre for North Sea oil and gas industry, now developing as a research and development hub
- Silicon Glen – high-technology industries (especially electronics and computer software) based in Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh region
- NE England – Honda car plant in Sunderland and chemical industry in Middlesborough
- Silicon Fen – high-technology research industries (especially softwares, electronics and biotechnology) associated with the University of Cambridge
- Canary Wharf, London – banking and financial services
- Oxfordshire – high-technology industries (motor sports, medical, space, engineering)
- Swansea – education and service sector including DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority) and Amazon
- Bicester Village – huge retail development, now a major tourist attraction
- MediaCity, Salford – media centre with BBC/ITV studios and other creative industries
- Belfast Titanic Quarter – film studio, offices, education based on the old shipyards