Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is continuing its strong track record of success in attracting inward investment, creating or safeguarding nearly 1,500 jobs in the past financial year.
The latest figures from the Department for International Trade reveal that there were 21 successful foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership area in 2016/17, an increase of 16 per cent on the previous year. Through these investments 536 new jobs have been created and 948 jobs safeguarded.
In addition, the LEP secured three ‘multi-region’ FDI projects. Multi-region projects are those that create jobs in multiple UK locations but where it is not possible to identify the exact job numbers for each LEP area.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire has attracted significant investment from companies such as Kongsberg Automotive in Burton and GE in Stafford, leading to the creation of new jobs.
In addition, hundreds of jobs were safeguarded by automotive parts manufacturer Gestamp, following its decision to relocate within the county and build a new multi-million pound factory at Four Ashes in South Staffordshire.
Six of the investment projects in the LEP area are in the automotive sector, with two in advanced manufacturing, four in the food and drink sector, and four in business and consumer services.
The latest figures build on the LEP’s previous successes in attracting firms to invest and grow in our area. In 2015/16 there were a total of 18 successful foreign direct investment (FDI) projects which created 1,094 new jobs. And in the previous financial year (2014/15) there were 17 foreign investment projects, creating 889 new jobs and safeguarding a further 400 existing jobs.
LEP chairman David Frost CBE said the latest figures were yet more proof of the attractiveness of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire as a great location for businesses to invest and thrive.
“This is the ideal part of the country to do business, thanks to our central location, transport links and enthusiastic, skilled workforce,” Mr Frost commented.
“Our can-do attitude and successful partnership working with a range of public and private sector partners mean that we can smooth the way for businesses to invest and bring more and better jobs to our area.
“It is equally important to build long-term relationships with incoming and existing businesses so that firms established in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire remain here and continue to grow, with the help of our comprehensive packages of advice and assistance.”
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “It is hugely encouraging to see how we are going from strength to strength in attracting foreign investment and how the county council and local enterprise partnership have played an important part in achieving this success.
“The Department for International Trade has highlighted both Gestamp’s decision to relocate and expand in Staffordshire and GE’s expansion at the county council developed Redhill Business Park in Stafford as prime examples. Both companies are well established in Staffordshire and employ hundreds of skilled employees and so retaining them and supporting their expansion has been vitally important. We will continue to work hard for businesses operating in the county whilst making every effort to attract new investors.”