Gainsborough is located on the east bank of the River Trent, in the county of Lincolnshire, approximately 150 miles north of London and 19 miles north-west of Lincoln.
The town has a population of around 19,000 and is within the West Lindsey District which covers an area of approximately 115,357 hectares (445 square miles / 1154 sq kms) and has a population of around 77,000.
Situated in mainly rural surroundings in the north of the county it is a busy market town, displaying some fine 17th-century red-brick architecture and possessing one of the finest medieval manor houses in the country in Gainsborough Old Hall. Once an important river port the town has developed a diverse industrial base.
Historically Gainsborough was a busy port carrying goods to mostly local destinations along the Humber estuary.
Today agriculture is the largest industry here and food manufacturers have capitalised on this, with the town accommodating national meat and poultry processors. In recent years the large founding and engineering companies of Gainsborough and District have given way to dynamic modern businesses such as Eminox, Ping Europe, and William Sinclair Holdings. This has been complimented by the recent relocations of the international headquarters of The Imperial Consolidated Finance Group and the Inland Revenue's national training centre. Unemployment is lower than regional and national averages.
The name Gainsborough derives from the Mercian tribe 'The Gainis' who held power in this area. The name literally means 'stronghold (burh) of the Gainis'.