Region celebrates 73% increase in foreign investment

Published 19th July 2017 at 9:23am

New figures from the Department for International Trade show that foreign investment into the Sheffield City Region (SCR) leapt by a massive 73% in the financial year to the end of March compared to previous 12 months.

This makes it the most successful year for international investment in the region 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. Another five projects were UK-wide investments at multiple sites and the Department could not give the numbers of jobs created by region.

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.

Teams from the regeneration departments of the nine 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:

  • Peak Resort, the £400million tourism and leisure destination which is underway with £2.9million infrastructure funding from the SCR. The project will create 1,300 jobs.
  • At iPort, the inland port logistics development at Doncaster, investment of £500million has created 1,000 jobs. The SCR is investing £9.1million in the M18 link road from the iPort to Doncaster Sheffield Airport. This has also opened up large areas of land for investment and seen record passenger numbers at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
  • A new 44,595 sq metre facility at the Markham Vale Enterprise Zone for Great Bear will create 400 new jobs serving the UK domestic market. A second distribution operation at Markham Vale is the largest development at Markham Vale to date.
  • Crean Solutions, the automotive components company, has established a 2,880 sq metre facility in Barnsley, its first operation in the UK. The £17million investment is expected to create around 40 jobs.

 The top five project successes in SCR 2016/17 by jobs were:

  • Amazon, Doncaster                                     500
  • IKEA, Sheffield                                            400
  • Hitachi Rail, Doncaster                               200
  • McLaren, Rotherham                                  200
  • Ferdinand Bilstein, Chesterfield                150

The top five project successes in SCR 2016/17 by investment value were:

  • Hitachi Maintenance Facility, Doncaster £75million
  • IKEA, Sheffield                                            £60million
  • McLaren, Rotherham                                   £50million
  • Ferdinand Bilstein, Chesterfield                 £38million
  • Amazon, Doncaster                                     £25million

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.