Inward investment goes to ‘next level’

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Over 170 foreign companies planning to set up operations in the UK have expressed an interested in Sheffield City Region, a new report shows.

They include an Egyptian printing company, a Korean boiler maker, a global defence company and a US-owned contract delivery organisation - which could create 500 city centre jobs.

A multinational medical company has shortlisted the region for three sites, with the potential for 1,200 jobs.

The projects were outlined in a report to the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority which is set to approve plans for an inward investment board to take the already high rate of activity “to the next level”.

At present a five-strong inward investment team, part of the Local Enterprise Partnership, works alongside the nine local authorities within Sheffield City Region and UKTI.

The new board would act as an umbrella group to create an integrated approach. And it would be run to by volunteer experts from the private sector.

Ellen Cutler, head of the LEP inward investment team, said: “The private sector would take the lead on lead generation, marketing, monitoring, reporting and aftercare. It would cut out duplication and potentially turn up more leads by bringing us closer to the private sector.

“The most important thing is that we have the momentum.”

The board would be headed by a chief executive from one of the local authorities.

Secrecy was key in attracting companies she added.

Birmingham had revealed a Chinese company was interested in setting up there.

Ellen Cutler said: “I will meet them next time I am in China. The reason we don’t share details is we are in competition with other areas of the country. “