Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire remain on the podium after being ranked as the UKâ€™s top three areas for inward investment, enhancing its reputation as one of the countryâ€™s best places to do business.
Its Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) came third out of the UKâ€™s 39 LEP areas for attracting new business and supporting business expansion, in a new report from fDi Intelligence magazine, a supplement of the Financial Times.
The fDi report published this week, called â€œEuropean Cities and Regions of the Futureâ€ also ranked Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire among the top 20 regions in Europe in terms of future economic potential. The research was produced by a team of investment analysts and experts, scrutinising a huge range of data across 468 European cities and regions.
Regional success is driven by the work of the Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Inward Investment Service, working on behalf of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership, with funding from Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council.
The Make It service aims to differentiate the area to investors by championing its key sector strengths in advanced manufacturing and production of advanced materials, in addition to automotive industries and energy. Jaguar Land Rover, JCB and Alstom are among major local employers highlighting the strength of the regional economy.
Promotional activity focuses on direct contact with target companies and the offer of tailored support for those who relocate to the area. Many are drawn to the area by the excellent road and rail links, competitive major developments and strong engineering skills base.
More than 2,000 new jobs have been created across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire in each of the last three years through relocation or expansion. And through a sustained inward investment programme â€“ delivered as part of a wider scheme of economic growth â€“ about 1,600 jobs were created in the city last year.
Ron Dougan, chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership, said:
â€œOur rich industrial heritage, skilled and ready workforce, and excellent road and rail links are the foundations for the regionâ€™s inward investment success.
â€œWhen this is coupled with a red carpet approach for new investors, it is no surprise to see Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire recognised by industry experts.
â€œAcross the enterprise partnership we will continue working together to achieve our joint ambitions to make this region one of Europeâ€™s prime economic powerhouses.â€