Map of the Leicestershire Area

Map of Leicestershire

County Council


Situated in the East Midlands, Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the heart of England. The county is bordered by Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. It derives its name from historic Leicester, although the city is administered separately from the rest of the county. Leicestershire's population of approximately 980,800 people (2011 Census) is largely concentrated around Leicester. In addition to Leicester, major population centres include Loughborough, Milton Mowbray, Coalville, Wigston Magna, Market Harborough, and Hinckley. The ceremonial county encompasses an area of 2,156 square kilometres (832 square miles) and a population density of 455 people per square kilometres (1,180 people per square miles).

Agriculture, and in particular livestock farming, has been a traditional strength of Leicestershire's economy. Staples of British cuisine including pork pie, Stilton cheese and Red Leicester cheese originate from the county. Food processing and manufacturing also have a strong presence in Leicestershire. Other traditional sectors in the county and Leicester include clothing manufacturing, particularly knitwear, hosiery and footwear. Today, healthcare and biomedical industries, transport and distribution services, and financial and business services are also major sectors.

Engineering has been an important segment of Leicestershire's economy since the 14th century. Recognisable names include John Taylor Bellfounders in Loughborough and Norman & Underwood, which have made roofing and stained glass for some of England's most historic buildings including Windsor Castle and Westminster Abbey. Other notable engineering companies include railway locomotive manufacturer Brush Traction, car maker Noble Automotive Ltd., and Triumph Motorcycles. The county is also home to major engineering departments at Leicester University, Loughborough University and De Montfort University, the Systems Engineering Innovation Centre and the Centre for Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies (CENEX), aerospace facilities at Mallory Park and Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, and private research firms PERA and MIRA.

Many of Leicestershire attractions recall traditional economic activities in the county, including the Abbey Pumping Station and the Snibston Discovery Park, which is a museum built on a former coal mine. The county is also home to Ashby Castle, Leicester Cathedral, Belvoir Castle, an Iron Age hill fort at Burrough Hill, the National Space Centre, Donington Park, and East Midlands Airport. Notable people from Leicestershire include naturalists and explorers Henry Walter Bates and Alfred Russell Wallace, broadcaster David Attenborough, footballer and presenter Gary Lineker, travel and tourism pioneer Thomas Cook, Quakers founder George Fox, disputed monarch Lady Jane Grey, and the founder of the English Parliament, Simon de Montfort.


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