Essex In Business

Welcome to the Essex in Business web site : an introduction to the county of Essex and its business and economic activities.

Business in Essex is dominated by the service sector, which accounts for 70% of the county's total value added. Industry accounts for 28%, and agriculture for just 2%.

Industry in Essex is concentrated in the south and west of the county. Harlow is a centre for electronics, and pharmaceutical companies. Chelmsford has long historical connections with the fallen giant Marconi. Two of the major technical breakthroughs in the last 100 years in communications happened in Essex. Harlow is the birthplace of optical fibre, and Chelmsford is the birthplace of radio.

Brentwood is home to the Ford Motor Company's European HQ.


Chelmsford, the county town, has been an important location for electronics companies since the electronics industry was born. Nowadays the service sector is more important, and it is home to a wide range of insurance and financial services organisations.


Colchester has a similar mix of light industry and service business to Chelmsford. The presence of the University of Essex on the outskirts of the town brings in students to the town, and has produced some spin-off businesses. Its local economy is also boosted by its status a garrison town, which brings a large number of of army personnel to the town.


For many years Southend's economy was based on tourism, supported by the easy access to the town by rail from London. it is the closest seaside resort to London, and has 2 rail links. As the traditional British sea-side summer holiday has declined efforts have been made to re-focus the town as a commercial centre. Service industries such as Visa, and government departments such as as H. M. Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are now major employers in the town.


Harlow has some high-tech major employers, such as electronics and aerospace giant Raytheon and drugs company GSK. It's also lost others, such as Nortel. It has some excellent mid-sized local companies with strong local and international sales, including award-winning Astro Lighting.

A new Enterprise Zone is under development, hoping to exploit the town's position on the corridor linking London to Cambridge and Stansted Airport.

The Future

Local businesses hoped that the 2012 Olympics, although outside the county, would generate increased economic activity. The dire general economic conditions at the time put paid to this hope.

A more realistic expectation is that the continued growth of traffic through Stansted Airport will bring increased economic activity. There is talk, but little action, about the M11 corridor linking Cambridge and London becoming a high-tech hotspot. Both Cambridge and London continue to grow, but that growth bypasses Essex

Expats Destination of Choice : Essex

The destination of choice for ex-pats moving into the UK is Essex, according to a survey by expat specialist site Expatify ( The reasons it gives include the diverse cultural scene, the variety of things to do and, the closeness to London for jobs.

BBC News For Essex

Essex Police are urging fans not to call 999 when "West Ham have lost again".
The group called Dancing with Parkinson's has been set up at Colchester Castle.
A fundraising mission to try and set a new world record while raising money for Pudsey Bear.
Melissa Humphreys was entrusted with her parents' finances while they were touring Europe.
A company behind plans for a plant at Bradwell-on-Sea says it has reached a "significant" stage.