Suzanne Robinson, Managing Partner at EY in Yorkshire.
Nick Hill

Leeds ranks in top five UK cities for foreign direct investment, EY reports

Leeds has been ranked as the fifth best performing city in the UK for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), according to EY’s 2018 UK Attractiveness Survey.

In 2017 alone, 19 FDI projects were located in the city - a 23% share of all projects locating in Yorkshire & Humber last year.

As for Yorkshire and the Humber, 80 inward investment projects were recorded, marking a slight decrease on 2016 (82). In the last three years, the region has maintained this high level of inward investment, attracting 80 projects or more.

According to EY’s survey, the number of jobs created by overseas investors into Yorkshire and the Humber has also increased by 14% compared to the previous year (from 4,988 in 2016 to 5,665 in 2017) and marks the highest number of jobs secured in the region over the last decade.

Five Yorkshire towns or cities make the top 20 ranking by volume of investments, with Leeds, Barnsley, Sheffield, Hull and Doncaster all making the cut.

In terms of FDI in Yorkshire and the Humber, Barnsley ranked joint 13th and Sheffield, Hull and Doncaster all came in joint 20th.

The wholesale, retail and distribution sector provided two of the largest investments in the region – one from the US into Knottingley creating 1,400 jobs; and one from Germany into Rossington creating 500 jobs.

Rotherham secured two of the largest investments in business services and transport manufacturing, with over 700 jobs secured from both projects.

The largest number of projects recorded in the Yorkshire and the Humber region were in manufacturing. The sector saw 38 projects attracted to the region, representing 46% of the total number of investment projects in 2017 (up from 40% in 2016).

The second largest number of projects, by activity type, were in sales and marketing, with 22 projects representing 27% of the region’s total number of projects. Projects from the logistics sector saw the third highest number of investments, but at 10 projects in 2017 it represented a decline on 2016 (19 projects).

Suzanne Robinson, managing partner at EY in Yorkshire, said: “These figures are great news for Yorkshire – not only is Leeds one of the top five cities for inward investment in the UK, but the region has a total of five towns and cities in the top 20.

“Furthermore, while Knottingley and Rossington did not make the ranking in terms of volume of investment deals, they too have seen sizeable and significant investment, winning projects that have resulted in nearly 2,000 jobs for the local area.

“The fact that 46% of investments came from manufacturing related industries does not surprise me given it is a particular strength for this region and a sector where we already have a solid footprint.

“However, I’m also heartened by the breadth of activity type across the investments – from sales and marketing to logistics to digital – a sector which in particular saw an increase in activity on last year.”

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