Latest figures show that the Sheffield City Region (SCR) is celebrating its best ever year for investment by foreign-owned companies, with growth up by a record 50 per cent on 2016.
The nine districts across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Notts which comprise the SCR have seen a massive £1.9billion pumped into the region, and more than 7,000 jobs created or safeguarded.
The figures, compiled by the SCR, represent the most successful 12 months for foreign investment into the region since the SCR was established six years ago to drive economic growth and jobs.
Teams from the regeneration departments of the nine local authorities are supported by the region-wide SCR inward investment team to work together to attract foreign companies from overseas, and others already based in the UK looking to relocate and expand.
Chris Scholey, the Local Enterprise Board member who leads on inward investment for the SCR, said: “The nine local authorities and the Sheffield City Region specialists have worked very hard together to encourage investors to come to the region. They have been incredibly successful in securing jobs and investment. As a result the region is looking good!”
Rachel Clark, director of trade and investment for the SCR, said: “The region is seeing some very exciting success, and the culmination of a lot of hard collaborative work with our local authority and business partners. These investments can often take years to come to fruition – but it’s all worthwhile when the jobs and investment come in and create such fantastic economic growth.”
Among the outstanding success stories are Amazon’s fourth warehouse in Doncaster – the largest number it has in any one place in the UK – and plans by developers Verdion to develop the second stage of the iPort site at Doncaster. Verdion is backed by the giant Canadian pension fund HOOP.
A partnership agreement between Sheffield City Council and the Chinese-led Sichaun Guodong will see major investment in Sheffield, including apartments, offices, leisure facilities and, potentially, a five-star hotel. This is the biggest deal for any city outside London, with the first three years worth more than £200million to the city.
In the past year foreign companies have invested £500million in 49 projects, creating 2,800 jobs; UK-based foreign-owned companies invested in another 31 projects, creating a further 366 jobs.
In the SCR key sectors, advanced manufacturing and engineering accounted for over 30 per cent of the year’s investments. Other important areas, which include automotive, logistics and business, professional and financial services, represented around 60 per cent.