Sheffield tops new investment table

Peace Gardens, Sheffield city centre
Peace Gardens, Sheffield city centre
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Sheffield is one of the most attractive places in the country for foreign companies thanks to low costs and high quality business parks, according to a national study.

The city is in the top seven per cent of 324 local authorities in England for inward investment, which is vital to growth, according to Grant Thornton’s new Business Location Index.

It ranks cities based on economic, social and environmental criteria including transport links, the cost of land, house prices, wages and quality of life.

The accountancy firm created the index to help local enterprise partnerships and councils shout about their strengths as business locations and attract investment away from London.

Paul Houghton, senior partner at Grant Thornton in Sheffield and a board member of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “Inward investment is the key to a vibrant UK economy, and this study is designed to show every region how best to target overseas firms to invest in order to grow businesses and create employment.

“Sheffield has a long-established global reputation for quality heavy engineering and craftsmanship. The transition away from the coal and steel industries and the move towards making Sheffield a world-renowned centre for advanced engineering and digital industries is now really gathering momentum.”

Sheffield City Region has 343 foreign-owned companies, the report shows, while Leeds has 566 and York has 177 - a total of 1086 firms, about five per cent of the total in England.

Mr Houghton added: “The report highlights that the opportunity for Sheffield and Leeds is fantastic, and we need to use these insights to further strengthen our combined strategies and ensure we are making the most of our respective USPs as places to do business.

“Collectively, Yorkshire has a great deal to offer businesses from all over the world, and there’s further evidence here that the complementary offerings of Sheffield and Leeds make Yorkshire the ‘go to’ location for overseas businesses.”