Coast to Capital boosted by foreign investment

Coast to Capital boosted by foreign investment

Foreign investment into the Coast to Capital regional economy has doubled over the last year, with direct investment reaching £2.4bn, new research shows.

The Coast to Capital regional economy was given a £2.4bn boost last year thanks to the doubling of overseas investment, new figures from the Department for International Trade (DIT) reveal.

In the DIT report Inward Investment Results 201516, the Coast to Capital LEP area has contributed to the 253 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in the South East, making it the most successful region for attracting FDI outside of London.

FDI into the Coast to Capital region, which covers Croydon, East Surrey, Gatwick Diamond, Brighton & Hove, Lewes and West Sussex has grown due to a variety of factors, including transport links, commercial opportunities and specific target marketing abroad through UKTI and other partners.

Mike La Rooy, Coast to Capital board member and chair of its International Advisory Committee, said: “Our region is an attractive place for foreign investors for various reasons, firstly its proximity to London definitely gives us a competitive edge, but also our international connectivity due to Gatwick Airport is a key driver towards businesses making the decision to come here.

“There are also good commercial opportunities in our region. We have a number of growing and established sectors such as Creative, Digital and IT (CDIT), health and life sciences and business and professional services which are popular amongst foreign investors. And there are emerging clusters around these sectors and business sites in Horsham and Croydon.

“Also by working very closely with UKTI and other partners we are now much better at marketing and promoting ourselves to specific regions abroad that have been matched with us due to their skill needs such as Toronto, Madrid and Hong Kong.

“These areas are interested in the types of industries and skilled workforce based in Coast to Capital. So we are able to make links with these cities and regions to encourage them to invest here.”

One example of a company that chose to come to the Coast to Capital region is Clinuval, which is an Australian pharmaceutical firm based in Leatherhead.

Lachlan Hay, head of global network and communications at Clinuval, added: “We decided to base our international headquarters here instead of the USA because that is such a difficult market to penetrate, the UK is much better for us in terms of language, background and legal requirements. And we chose Leatherhead because of its proximately to Gatwick, Heathrow and London.”


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