Greater Birmingham Leads UK FDI Surge
GBSLEP’s manufacturing sector is proving to be a magnate for record Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cementing the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) area as the number 1 UK location for FDI with more projects being funded by foreign investors than in any other part of the UK.
The UKTI report states: “Greater Birmingham and Solihull saw the biggest increase in 13/14 with the number of projects funded by foreign investment rise by 57 per cent from 49 projects in 2012/13 to 77 projects in 2013/14.
The number of new jobs created in the Greater Birmingham area rose to 4,841 from 2,439 in 2013, with significant investment and jobs coming from the advanced manufacturing sector.
Jaguar Land Rover led the surge in investment with a £1.5billion investment in its Solihull site as part of plans to develop an all-new technically advanced aluminium vehicle architecture. Household floor care manufacturer Vax, the owned by Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries, was another leading name to show its commitment to the area by placing its new R&D facility in the heart of Birmingham’s Colmore Business District.
The dramatic increase in investment in the digital sector was highlighted by the BBC’s decision to locate its new digital innovation team in Birmingham.
The area’s thriving financial and professional services sector also saw a boost with German investment house, Deutsche Bank, announcing its ambition to become the largest trading bank in the city.
Further major investors in the professional sector include Hogan Lovells, a growing American law firm, which chose Birmingham ahead of other regional cities as the location for its new UK legal centre. DTZ, the global real estate consultancy, also brought its European financial control centre to Greater Birmingham from Eastern Europe.
The good news coming out of Greater Birmingham reflects the national success, as the UK as a whole secured a record 67,000 new jobs from FDI projects, an impressive 17% increase on last year.
Chairman of the GBSLEP, Andy Street, added:
“Greater Birmingham has worked hard to maintain its position as a leading global destination for foreign businesses looking to invest. The Birmingham/Solihull area is leading the way on exports, start-ups and manufacturing. FDI has been the catalyst for this success. These latest FDI figures are testament to the appeal of Greater Birmingham, and it is tremendous news that the GBSLEP is at the forefront of delivering economic growth in the regions.””
Commenting on the results, Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council said:
“Birmingham has worked hard to build its offer to investors, its international profile and connectivity. Today’s statistics are proof that this is working. Our strong infrastructure and international relationships have been a magnet for FDI. We are leading the way as the UK’s strongest region and city for inward investment.
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham, said:
“These results cap a great week for investment confidence in Greater Birmingham. Whilst the city leads the way on delivering HS2 with the launch of the Birmingham Curzon Regeneration Company and construction HQ, today’s news shows that we’ve built on our strong manufacturing heritage, and diversified into digital technology and professional services. The investment pipeline across all our target sectors is strong and our challenge will be to ensure we maximise local employment prospects.”