West Midlands sees best FDI performance in a decade

West Midlands sees best FDI performance in a decade

The West Midlands recorded its largest number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in a decade last year, representing an increase of 46% on the year before.

Since 2013, the performance of the West Midlands has seen a large improvement with total project numbers up more than 95%,  led by investment into Birmingham which is the 4th most successful UK city (outside London) for attracting FDI.

The West Midlands area had three locations represented in the top cities for FDI projects - Birmingham (24 projects), Coventry (11 projects) and Solihull (10 projects).

Sara Fowler, senior partner at EY in the Midlands, said: “It’s been another exceptional year for the West Midlands with record inward investment in 2015, bringing more jobs, and contributing to the strong performance of the Midlands Engine.

“With major infrastructure schemes such as HS2 on the horizon, I’m confident that the region will continue to attract FDI and build the profile of the West Midlands as a global investment hot-spot.”

Strong growth was reported in the West Midlands for projects from the automotive, fabricated metals, machinery and equipment sectors.

The West Midlands remains the top UK region for attracting manufacturing FDI, with the manufacturing sector responsible for creating over 75% of the total jobs in the West Midlands.

Eight projects announced across the Midlands reported that they would create 300+ jobs, including manufacturing investments by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Geely.

Further automotive related investment was created by Brose Fahrzeugteile opening a new manufacturing plant in the West Midlands.

Other notable investments included Amazon investing in a logistics facility and IBM and Jacobs Engineering both creating new large scale facilities.

In keeping with the UK as a whole (and every UK region), the US accounted for the greatest proportion of projects in the West Midlands – after that, the next three most important countries of origin were Germany, India and China.