Foreign businesses continue to invest in the Sheffield City Region

Foreign businesses continue to invest in the Sheffield City Region

Amazon, McLaren and IKEA are among the companies that have invested in the Sheffield City Region over the past year.

New figures from the Department for International Trade show that foreign investment into the Sheffield City Region leapt by a massive 73% in the year ending March compared to the previous 12 months.

This makes it the most successful year for international investment in the region since the SCR was created.

The figures, produced annually, show that there were 46 investments by foreign businesses, creating 2,308 new jobs and safeguarding 217.

Another five projects were UK-wide investments at multiple sites and the department could not give the numbers of jobs created by region.

The successes are broken down into expansions which comprise 47% of the investment; mergers and acquisitions make up another 18%; and new investments 36%.

Recent high-profile examples include supercar McLaren, investing in research and production at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, and the Singapore company Metro Holdings investing in the Acero building on the Sheffield Digital Campus.

In the Sheffield City Region, the key automotive sector attracted six projects; metals, minerals and materials five; and advanced engineering four.

McLaren’s move to the SCR sees it working closely with the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to research and produce the chassis for its super cars.

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

Rachel Clark, director of trade and investment for the SCR, said: “These excellent figures are the exciting result of collaborative work with our local authority and business partners and the Department for International Trade. It’s rewarding to see a team effort bringing in such fantastic returns in terms of jobs and 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 £200m to the city.

Another major investment into the region is Peak Resort, the £400m tourism and leisure destination which is underway with £2.9m infrastructure funding from the SCR. The project will create 1,300 jobs.

At iPort, the inland port logistics development at Doncaster, investment of £500m has created 1,000 jobs. The SCR is investing £9.1m in the M18 link road from the iPort to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

This has also opened up large areas of land for investment and seen record passenger numbers at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

A new 44,595 sq m facility at the Markham Vale Enterprise Zone for Great Bear will also 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 m facility in Barnsley, its first operation in the UK. The £17m investment is expected to create around 40 jobs.

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

  • Amazon, Doncaster 500
  • IKEA, Sheffield 400
  • Hitachi Rail, Doncaster 200
  • McLaren, Rotherham 200
  • Ferdinand Bilstein, Chesterfield 150

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

  • Hitachi Maintenance Facility, Doncaster £75m
  • IKEA, Sheffield £60m
  • McLaren, Rotherham £50m
  • Ferdinand Bilstein, Chesterfield £38m
  • Amazon, Doncaster £25m