Our ambition is to create a nationally recognised cluster of innovation-focused defence companies, and ensure that Greater Lincolnshire is a highly attractive, first-choice destination for defence-related industries, service leavers and their families.

Greater Lincolnshire is home to one of the UK's most significant networks of ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) businesses. Our defence and security supply chain has been formed over decades at the heart of RAF operations. Particular operations in Greater Lincolnshire include the RAF's Air and Space Warfare Centre (ASWC), Air Battlespace Training Centre, MOD Joint Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities group. 

With secure, large-scale military sites, extensive permitted air space, a low population density, and supportive communities, Greater Lincolnshire offers the ideal environment for defence businesses including: 

  • technology research and development 
  • innovation 
  • testing and evaluation 

In 2021, the Government has announced a substantial year-on-year increase in defence spending which should boost prospects for the sector, and growing international tensions may point to a need for greater military investment and overseas involvement worldwide in the medium-term future, highlighting the importance of defence as a strategic sector. 

Across the wider East Midlands region, there is the potential for closer partnership working by building a defence network with nearby clusters. Greater Lincolnshire has already established relationships with MoD contacts on every site in Lincolnshire, and worked with the Department for International Trade (DIT) to support foreign owned defence companies with specific labour force, business space, or other needs. 

In 2022, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, in partnership with University of Lincoln and industry partners launched the Greater Lincolnshire Defence and Security Network (GLDSN). The network is led by the board for defence, comprising specialist public and private sector representatives, to drive this sector forward in Greater Lincolnshire. 

We have also created Britain’s first Air & Defence College (A&DC) in Lincoln working in partnership with the Royal Air Force and additional defence industry companies, and have secured funding for an R&D institute at the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park. This is aligned to local defence speciality and latent skills among military personnel and the nearby ISTAR HQ, and comes with confirmed news that the long-term base for the Red Arrows will remain in Greater Lincolnshire.