East Midlands climbs investment poll26 May 2011
The Midlands is the most attractive destination to overseas investors outside London, according to research from accountant Ernst & Young.
Nottingham City Council told Insider the city's knowledge economy, workforce and location were the key factors in securing record investment.
According to the European Attractiveness Survey conducted by Ernst & Young, 91 inward investment projects were established in the region in 2010.
This makes the Midlands the most attractive destination for inward investment projects outside of London and shows an increase of more than 35 per cent on last year's figures.
The projects resulted in 3,769 jobs being created in the region, an increase of 150 per cent - the largest in England.
Lorraine Baggs, trade and inward investment manger at Nottingham City Council, said: "Nottingham's knowledge economy, its workforce and its location are key in attracting investment and companies locating and re-investing in the area. Nottingham's two universities and the proactive business networks are crucial partners in promoting the city to an international audience.
"Companies such as Changan Automotive - who recently moved in the No.1 Nottingham Science Park - have been quoted in saying the expertise at the University of Nottingham was a vital part of their decision to locate in the city."
According to the survey, Birmingham was the biggest centre of activity in the region, with 14 new investment projects. There were also 13 investment projects in Nottingham and five in Coventry.
The majority of these investments originated from the US (27), while 11 came from Germany.
Sara Fowler, Ernst & Young's senior partner in the Midlands, identified manufacturing as a key asset to the region.
She said: "As in previous years the report has shown the strength of the manufacturing sector in the region with 30 per cent of the investment projects coming from this sector. Foreign businesses are continuing to invest in the region because of its strong reputation and expertise in the sector.
"This year we have also seen investment projects in a variety of other sectors, including software, business services and electrical. This proves the versatility of the Midlands and the excellent opportunities it presents to businesses."
John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, told Insider the inward investment figures were no surprise. He said: "The East Midlands provides a central location with access to a fantastic skills base and extremely reliable workforce. That's why companies like Toyota from Japan, or Sydac from Australia, have been attracted here."
According to the Ernst & Young research, the UK remains Europe's top destination for foreign direct investment with its highest number of investments since 1997.
Top photo courtesy of Scene Photography