Stateside trip to attract investment by business

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INVESTMENT worth millions of pounds and hundreds of new jobs could be brought to South Yorkshire after officials made a transatlantic trip to meet business leaders.

Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, the agency tasked with driving regeneration in the area, sent Ellen Cutler, its newly-installed inward investment director, to Chicago for the event.

She attended the Orthopaedic Manufacturing and Technology Exposition and Conference, which was also attended by Leeds LEP and UK Trade and Industry, a Government agency which promotes business.

During the trip, Ellen also briefed UKTI representatives in Atlanta and New York.

As a result of the trip, nine firms have expressed an interest in locating in the Sheffield area, Sheffield City Region LEP said.

Ms Cutler, who headed to the United States with representatives from several South Yorkshire businesses, said: “Our attendance at the Chicago event provided a unique opportunity for the city region’s healthcare professionals to develop international connections and valuable business leads.

“The strength of the business leads generated by this visit clearly demonstrates the economic potential of future overseas investment missions.”

Ms Cutler, who has previously worked in Scotland and originally comes from the US, added: “The work of the inward investment team forms a key part of the LEP’s vision to stimulate economic growth and create employment in the region.”

Ms Cutler works with a small team of business development staff who are on secondment from South Yorkshire’s four councils.

Ms Cutler’s place on the trip to the US cost £7,124.81 of public money, which Sheffield City Region LEP believes is ‘good value’ considering the potential investment and new jobs which could come to the area as a result.

Further trips abroad to secure investment are planned, including to countries in Europe over the coming months.

Details of the trip to America come as the Financial Times newspaper rated Sheffield City Region LEP as the fifth best of 29 such agencies around the UK - and the best in Yorkshire and the Humber - for its work to attract inward investment.