EY Attractiveness Survey

The LEP�s international team has helped boost foreign investment in Yorkshire to a 16-year high, as international backers looked to Leeds for deals. The international team�s focus on sector proposition development, deepening strategic relationships with UKTI, and a renewed focus on research and data analysis has ensured the LEP and the region�s inward investment activity has been the most successful since the turn of the century.

Sanef provides a clear example of the successes achieved by the LEP�s international team in 2014, with the French company opening its first UK client service centre in the heart of Leeds not 12 months ago. The new �1m state-of-the-art front line customer support centre created 350 skilled jobs and is responsible for managing the Dart Charge customer service operation for the Dartford Crossing in Kent, part of the largest programme of UK road enhancements since the 1970�s.

Figures from EY found Leeds was the fourth most successful city outside of London in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2014, having not previously made the top 10 in 2013.

The city secured a total of 14 FDI projects last year, which accounted for 29% of inward investment into the region and helped place Yorkshire as the fifth most successful region after London, Scotland, the South East and the West Midlands.

Foreign investment reached a 16-year high in Yorkshire last year, with 49 FDI projects, making up 5.5 per cent of all UK FDI projects in 2014, up from 2.5 per cent in 2013.

Stuart Watson, Yorkshire and Humber Senior Partner at EY, said Yorkshire had �began to punch its weight� after a number of challenging years.

He said: �The region looks to have developed a good offer to investors which has driven significant growth in FDI, but there�s more work ahead to develop this proposition and make Yorkshire even more competitive on the global stage.�

West Yorkshire grew its secured projects from nine in 2013 to 23 last year, while South Yorkshire trebled its FDI tally from four projects in 2013 to 12 in 2014.

Manufacturing was the most popular sector in Yorkshire for FDI projects in 2014, with 21 projects. It was followed by finance and business services with 18, with retail and hospitality with five, and transport and communications with three.