Ruli Pennington is Editor of Council News Monitor and writes Night in the City an occasional column for i-D Information Daily. She is passionate about better public services, devolution & women's football.@UnruliP
New figures show that foreign investment into the Sheffield City Region (SCR) leapt by 73% in the financial year to the end of March.
Department for International Trade figures show that the Sheffield City Region (SCR) has had the most successful year for international investment since the SCR was created.
The Government figures, produced annually, show that there were 46 investments by foreign businesses, creating 2308 new jobs and safeguarding another 217. The successes are broken down into expansions which comprise 47% of the investment; mergers and acquisitions make up another 18%; and new investments 36%.
Recent high-profile examples include supercar McLaren, investing in research and production at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, and the Singapore company Metro Holdings investing in the Acero building on the Sheffield Digital Campus.
In the Sheffield City Region, the key automotive sector attracted six projects; metals, minerals and materials five; and advanced engineering four. McLaren’s move to the SCR sees it working closely with the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to research and produce the chassis for its super cars.
Teams from the regeneration departments of the nine SCR local authorities are supported by the region-wide SCR Trade and Investment team to work together to attract foreign companies from overseas, and others already based in the UK looking to relocate and expand.
Rachel Clark, Director of Trade and Investment for the SCR, said: “These excellent figures are the exciting result of collaborative work with our local authority and business partners and the Department for International Trade. It’s rewarding to see a team effort bringing in such fantastic returns in terms of jobs and 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.
Further examples of other recent investments in the SCR include: