Roger Marsh, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.
Nick Hill

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership aims for international success

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is embarking on an international venture with the formation of a dedicated team to focus on international investment and lead on the coordination of trade support for the city region.

The newly created team, charged with driving jobs, growth and productivity across inward investment and trade in the city region, has assembled following the transfer of former members of the Leeds and Partners inward investment and marketing and communications teams, into the LEP in April 2015.

The closure of Leeds and Partners and move to the LEP, followed a substantial review of the inward investment provision in the city region, which identified that the development of a formal city region function that would coordinate trade and investment activity would deliver enhanced outcomes and better maximise the potential for economic growth.

The LEP will carry on with the work already accomplished by Leeds and Partners, which resulted in over 1200 jobs during the three years of operation, to develop a coordinated international strategy that will further drive inward investment, raise the profile of the city region and provide trade support across key international markets.

Roger Marsh, LEP Chair, said: “The internationalisation of our economy is critical to driving good growth in Leeds City Region and the development of the LEP’s international team presents us with an opportunity to build on the excellent work already undertaken and drive our global competitiveness to the next level.

“I’m delighted that the inward investment and marketing communications teams of Leeds and Partners have joined the LEP. The latest figures from the EY Attractiveness Survey demonstrate the impact of their work over the last three years and we are determined to build on this, to stay focused on converting our FDI pipeline and to integrate trade and investment activity to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.

“From this starting point it’s clear that there is a lot to be excited about and the international team is ready to showcase our scale, diversity and expertise to the global market place.

“A recent example of the international team’s work came when the City Region hosted a business delegation from China, which included the Governor of the most advanced development zone in China, Guangzhou Development District (GDD), which outputs in excess of £20bn a year. This offered myself and colleagues from both the public and private sector, a fantastic opportunity to explore how the GDD, which covers an area of 218km2, operates, the similarities that exist between it and our City Region and how we might better work together.”

The region’s strong inward investment performance was revealed in EY’s 2015 ‘UK Attractiveness Survey’; which reported the region’s most successful year for inward investment since 1998 and the highest rate of growth recorded by any of the UK’s 12 regions.

Leeds is ranked joint fourth most successful city outside of London in attracting FDI projects, which shows a significant increase after it failed to make the top 10 in 2013.

Leeds City Region’s international success is also showcased in its export figures which are around £9.6bn for goods and £6.2bn of services, approximately 30% of its GVA.

The international team’s renewed strategic approach towards international investment and trade offers a wealth of opportunities for the region and the businesses based here, helping to deliver the LEP’s strategic economic plan and create significant economic growth.

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