Birmingham boosted by overseas investment

Birmingham

Manufacturing generated 46pc of the new jobs overall, with 2,000 positions created across 12 projects

Foreign investment in Birmingham created a record 4,400 jobs over the past year, as international firms sought to take advantage of the area’s talent pool and manufacturing expertise.

The jobs boost, which will add £362m to the economy, is an increase of 78pc compared to the previous year’s total, according to the area’s marketing board.

Investment by foreign firms in 62 projects across the area almost doubled the number of new jobs generated compared to the previous year, and an additional 1,663 jobs were safeguarded.

Birmingham, which is Britain’s second most populous city after London, with 1.1m residents, has long been aiming to compete with London as a global enterprise hub. In March, business leaders and politicians announced a £150m fund to help 500 advanced manufacturing companies double their growth in five years.

However, Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, denied that the area is specifically trying to go head-to-head with the capital.

“We certainly don’t see ourselves in competition with London, we see it as complementary,” said Mr Rami. “London is active in some of the sectors that we do well in, but when it comes to areas such as manufacturing, we were the home of the industrial revolution and there is a new type of industrial revolution happening today.”

Greater Birmingham has played host to multiple major investments during the past year, including the creation of 300 jobs by Deutsche Bank and a £1.5bn investment by Jaguar Land Rover in its Solihull site as part of plans to develop a new aluminium vehicle architecture.

Manufacturing generated 46pc of the new jobs overall, with 2,000 positions created across 12 projects.

Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis and chairman of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, said that investors from around the world are realising the area’s potential.

“Britain’s manufacturing revival is happening right here in Greater Birmingham. Professional services investment is surging and foreign digital firms are flocking here,” he said.

“Greater Birmingham is Britain’s shining light when it comes to exports, advanced manufacturing, and inward investment. Foreign firms sense Greater Birmingham is a city on the rise.”

Last week, in an article for The Daily Telegraph, former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy called for the UK to do a better job of selling regional cities’ progress.

Read More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/10879057/Birmingham-boosted-by-overseas-investment.html

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