The Local Economy

South Holland District covers a geographical area of 74,238 hectares and is situated in the south eastern corner of Lincolnshire. The District is located in the flat fenlands that has been reclaimed from the sea over the centuries. This area has a low population density with 1 person per hectare compared to an average for England and Wales of 3.4 people.


The local economy is based primarily on Agriculture, Horticulture and food manufacturing, which in turn attracts a wide and diverse supply chain to service it. There are a number of nationally, and indeed internationally known companies based in South Holland, and include names such as:

  • Bakkavor

  • Princes

  • Butters Group

  • QV Foods

  • Addo Food Group

  • Dalehead Foods

  • Univeg

  • Fowler Welch

  • Freshlinc

  • Gist

  • Roythornes

    and many other well known companies too numerous to list. 

    The district has a population of around 90,000 people and is set to grow a further 15% by 2021.

    Figures for July 2014 - June 2015 show that 40,800 are in employment across the district, this equates to 74.1% of the working population as opposed to 73.1% nationally.

    Gross weekly pay in South Holland is £469 against a national average of £520, whilst the South Holland economy is often seen as a low wage economy, figures show us that in fact South Holland has higher level earnings by residence than Boston and Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, and on a par with Peterborough.

    There are a currently a total of 3465 enterprises in South Holland of which 3075 have 0-9 employees whereas there are 10 with 250+ employees

    This shows the food hub effect, how a small number of large businesses are being supported and supplied by the smaller businesses throughout the supply chain

    Food manufacturing is 13 times more significant as an employer in the district than the national average.

    Transport and storage also shows up as twice the national average

    22% of South Holland's enterprises are directly engaged in agriculture,and 14% in construction. Agriculture and Horticulture employ upwards of 3000 people directly, up to 10,000 including seasonal labour giving flexibility across the sector, vital in today's fast moving, just in time economy.

    Food related and general manufacturing employs over 11,000 people, the construction sector 3200, wholesale and retail trade 7000, and the Logistics sector 2,700.

    One of the districts strongest assets is its readily available, flexible workforce which complements the 24/7 working patterns that a lot of modern manufacturing businesses demand. Much of this flexibility is provided by the predominantly Eastern European workforce who have become an increasingly important part of the South Holland Economy and are numbered in their thousands.

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that some 35% of the nations food will touch South Holland at some point in its 'life', reinforcing the vital role that South Holland plays in the growing, manufacturing and distribution of the nations food.