The East Midlands Counties
The East Midlands counties comprise of Lincolnshire and Leicestershire acting as the eastern border of the Midlands, stretching as far north as Yorkshire and as far south as East Anglia. Leicester recently found itself making the headlines in the world’s press when the city’s football team won the Premier League title in 2016. The residents of the county town of Leicestershire were as surprised as anyone as their local team were able to beat the country’s top teams to win the title.
Leicester has a population of 350,000 people and has one of the largest ethnic populations in the country. The city grew as a result of it being at the centre of many transport routes. The canal and the railway all were located in the city and this resulted in a wide variety of industries being attracted into the area. Its location has continued to attract industries into the city. They have also kept up with the times with the city now being the home to many research and science-based industries. This continuous availability of jobs has resulted in large numbers of migrants moving into the city from all over the world.
To the east of Leicestershire lies Lincolnshire which has the longest coastline in the Midlands. The county town is Lincoln which is a city and has a population of 95,000. The city grew as a result of it being on the River Trent which made the North Sea accessible. The Romans built a castle and it acted as the region’s major market centre. Being located on the railways helped the city during the industrial revolution and it became home to heavy manufacturing industries, such as building train locomotives and steam shovels. Today the industries of the city are far lighter.
The county is dominated by its rural areas. It has a productive farming community. The relief of Lincolnshire is generally flat, and the area benefits from warm summers that are ideal for the ripening of crops in areas where the soils are rich. Lincolnshire is home to the Fens which is an area of former marshland which is now drained by man-made channels. Grimsby is the county’s largest coastal port. It is located on the south banks of the Humber Estuary and is close to where it enters the North Sea. It has a population of 88,000 making it the second largest conurbation in the county. During the 19th century the town boasted having the largest commercial fishing fleet in the world but sadly due to the over fishing of the North Sea the industry has declined and today only 5 fishing boats operate from the port. It still has the largest fish market in the country, but the majority of the fish are caught by Icelandic trawlers.
The port still brings business into the town with 15 boats operating the off-shore wind farms that are found in the North Sea. The town is also home to around 500 food related companies that benefit from being close to the fish market, and there is no greater concentration of such companies in the whole of Europe.
Scunthorpe is the main industrial town in Lincolnshire. It has a population of just over 65,000 people and is located where an escarpment of high ground makes its way down to the River Trent. It is close to a rich natural seam of iron ore and the town has been mining its local iron since the 10th century. It is only 8 miles south of the Humber Estuary and this has proved a benefit for local industry with raw materials and finished products being transported in and out of the area.
The building of the Trent, Ancholme and Grimsby Railway in the 1860’s meant that coal could be imported easily into the area to help produce steel with the local iron ore. As the ore started to run out ore as also imported in to the area and in 1967 British Steel bought all of the local plants and incorporated them into one. The industry is still in operation today. It uses the Immingham Bulk Terminal to import the raw materials into the site which are then manufactured into steel. The location of the steel industry in the town has also resulted in other industries being located in the area that support the main industry.