Telford cements status as foreign investment hotspot
New figures released by the Department for International Trade (DIT) have confirmed Telford and Wrekin’s place as a foreign investment heavyweight, with the borough attracting £114 million of investment during 2016/17.
Comprised of 12 investments from a range of businesses spanning digital, advanced manufacturing and beyond, Telford has enjoyed a staggering seven-fold increase compared to 2015/16, where Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) totalled £14.5million.
Among those expanding or establishing operations in the borough were long-standing Telford residents Ricoh, which created a first of its kind 3D printing consultancy, training and design showroom, aimed at showcasing its latest additive manufacturing capabilities.
The area’s technology credentials were also endorsed by international digital consultant Incessant Technologies, which recently opened its Telford-based innovation centre that will act as a base for its UK consulting operation.
The largest investment came from automotive supplier Magna International, whose confidence in Telford is seeing it set up a new aluminium casting facility in the town, ideally located near to its largest customer Jaguar Land Rover – this new factory will create 300 jobs for local people in its first phase alone.
Cllr Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said commented:
“It’s fair to say that as a business destination, and in attracting foreign investment, Telford punches well above its weight on the national and international stage. In the landscape of a post Brexit-vote economy and with uncertainty stalling key business decisions for many overseas firms, the significance of this achievement cannot be underestimated.
“The decision of such forward-thinking businesses to invest in Telford and its people, is testament to the hugely skilled workforce the region commands, and our close proximity to the Midlands’ thriving automotive industry. Moving forward, it’s vital we build upon this momentum, continue to highlight our sector strengths and retain our business-first approach to FDI.”
A number of Telford’s investment deals have been made possible via Telford & Wrekin Council’s land deals offering, involving the selling off and redevelopment of land previously owned by the Homes and Communities Agency.
Katherine Kynaston, assistant director responsible for Enterprise Telford, added:
“Our Land Deal programme, as well as the business support we’re able to offer through Enterprise Telford has been a real catalyst for significant business investment. Not only does it allow us to bring forward sites quicker, but we’re also able to ready sites depending on the tailored needs of individual businesses, which is a very unique offer. We’re seeing a great deal of interest from automotive and advanced manufacturing firms as the region’s big players continue to expand, and we’re confident we can build on this momentum in the coming year.”