A successful year for investment

Published 9th May 2017 at 3:53pm

By Chris Scholey, SCR LEP Board member lead member for inward investment 

I am delighted to record that the Sheffield City Region (SCR) is celebrating its best ever year for investment by foreign-owned companies, with growth up by a record 50 per cent on 2016.

The nine districts across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Notts which comprise the SCR have seen a massive £1.9billion pumped into the region, and more than 7,000 jobs created or safeguarded.

The figures, compiled by the SCR, represent the most successful year for foreign investment into the region since the SCR was established six years ago to drive economic growth and jobs.

Teams from the regeneration departments of the nine local authorities are supported by the region-wide SCR inward investment team to work together to attract foreign companies from overseas, and others already based in the UK looking to relocate and expand.

And as the SCR Board member who leads on inward investment for the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership, I would like to pay tribute to the work of the local authorities and their partnership.

The nine local authorities and the Sheffield City Region specialists have worked very hard together to encourage investors to come to the region. They have been incredibly successful in securing jobs and investment. As a result the region is looking good!

Rachel Clark, Director of Trade and Investment for the SCR, says: “The region is seeing some very exciting success, and the culmination of a lot of hard partnership work with our local authority and business partners. These investments can often take years to come to fruition – but it’s all worthwhile when the jobs and investment come in and create such fantastic economic growth.”

Among the outstanding success stories are Amazon’s fourth warehouse in Doncaster – the largest number it has in any one place in the UK – and plans by developers Verdion to develop the second stage of the iPort site at Doncaster. Verdion is backed by the giant Canadian pension fund HOOP.

A partnership agreement between Sheffield City Council and the Chinese-led Sichaun Guodong will see major investment in Sheffield, including apartments, offices, leisure facilities and, potentially, a five-star hotel.  This is the biggest deal for any city outside London, with the first three years worth more than £200million to the city.

In the past year foreign companies have invested £500million in 49 projects, creating 2,800 jobs; UK-based foreign-owned companies invested in another 31 projects, creating a further 366 jobs.

In the SCR key sectors, advanced manufacturing and engineering accounted for over 30% of the year’s investments. Other important areas, which include automotive, logistics and business, professional and financial services, represented around 60%.

Examples include:

  • Peak Resort, the £400million tourism and leisure destination which is underway with £2.9million infrastructure funding from the SCR. The project will create 1,300 jobs.
  • At iPort, the inland port logistics development at Doncaster, investment of £500million has created 1,000 jobs. The SCR is investing £9.1million in the M18 link road to the iPort and on to Doncaster Sheffield Airport. This has also opened up large areas of land for investment and seen record passenger numbers at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
  • The £300million expansion of Meadowhall shopping centre, set to create 1,000 jobs.
  • A new 44,595 sq metre facility at the Markham Vale Enterprise Zone for Great Bear will create 400 new jobs serving the UK domestic market. A second distribution operation at Markham Vale is the largest development at Markham Vale to date.
  • Crean Solutions, the automotive components company, has established a 2,880 sq metre facility in Barnsley, its first operation in the UK. The £17million investment is expected to create around 40 jobs.

The top five project successes in SCR 2016/17 by jobs were:

  • Amazon, Doncaster – 500 jobs
  • Ferdinand Bilstein, Chesterfield – 400 jobs
  • ALDI, Barnsley – 400 jobs
  • IKEA, Sheffield – 400 jobs
  • McLaren, Rotherham – 200 jobs

The top five project successes in SCR 2016/17 by investment value were:

  • Hitachi Maintenance Facility, Doncaster – £70 million
  • IKEA, Sheffield – £60 million
  • McLaren, Rotherham – £50 million
  • Ferdinand Bilstein, Chesterfield – £38 million
  • Boeing, Sheffield – £20 million
  • LIDL, Doncaster  – £70 million

This is not all. These successes comes hard on the heels of the announcement of  multi-million-pound investment and the creation of high-value jobs by supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive and aero giant Boeing.

It’s a good time for partnership working across the wider Sheffield City Region!

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