Region is tops for overseas projects

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South Yorkshire has overtaken West Yorkshire to become the most attractive place for foreign investors in the whole of Yorkshire and Humber.

West Yorkshire usually leads the way, but, according to a study by Ernst & Young, last year nine of the 21 Yorkshire projects funded by Foreign Direct Investors – or FDIs – came to South Yorkshire.

That was three projects more than in West Yorkshire, five more than in North Yorkshire and seven more than in Humberside.

But, while Yorkshire was one of a handful of UK regions in which the number of FDI projects increasedz, the number of jobs created by the projects fell by 30 per cent, putting the region at the bottom of the rankings for employment creation.

Ernst & Young says investors from the US and Germany backed the most projects in Yorkshire, followed by India and then France. Half of the investment was by manufacturers, followed closely by finance and business services.

Ernst & Young’s senior partner in Yorkshire, David Buckley, says English regions clearly suffered in the battle to attract inward investment last year and that could be the result of the Coalition Government’s decision to axe Regional Development Agencies.

“Now represented by Local Enterprise Partnerships, English regions need greater focus and support to attract inward investment, or risk damaging the UK’s overall performance,” said Mr Buckley.

“In comparison, countries such as France and Germany have a much more balanced regional spread of projects.”

Germany was ranked by investors as the most favoured investment destination for the coming two years.