High levels of investment and expansion from foreign owned companies have resulted in a significant increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVB LEP) sub-region. A total of 67 FDI projects entered the LEP area equating to a 52 per cent increase in the last 12 months compared to the previous year. A large proportion of the projects were classified as good or high value wins creating 1,714 new jobs, a 68 per cent increase on the previous year, with the highest level of investment from the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific.
Whilst technology (ITEC) based firms continued to dominate, there was strong representation and growth across all sectors including Financial and Professional Business Services, Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing and Life Sciences & Healthcare. These results reflect the strength and attractiveness of Thames Valley Berkshire as a location for FDI.
The strategic relationship between the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and TVB LEP has been instrumental in securing sustained levels of inward investment and bringing in new and exciting opportunities to the area.
Seqirus, the second largest influenza vaccine provider in the world, recently chose to establish its new corporate offices in Maidenhead, creating more than 100 managerial and highly skilled jobs in the Thames Valley, Berkshire area.
Gordon Naylor, President of Seqirus commented: “We were keen to build a strong presence in the UK, and the Thames Valley proved to be the perfect gateway to reach our global manufacturing facilities and internationally based customers. With network of likeminded businesses in the area and ongoing support from the Thames Valley Chamber and Berkshire LEP, the move has been very well received.”
Paul Britton, Chief Executive at Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group, commented: “These figures, we believe, place Thames Valley Berkshire LEP at the very top table as one of the most successful LEP areas, outside of London, in securing FDI into the UK.
“As the local delivery partner we are continually developing and building our long-term relationship with the LEP, Department of International Trade (DIT) and commercial partners to deliver strong results and performance for businesses in the Thames Valley year on year.
“Whilst traditionally technology companies have been the driving force, we have seen impressive growth across the spectrum. With excellent transportation links, proximity to London Heathrow airport, industry centres of excellence, world class universities and an encompassing support network of businesses, Berkshire continues to build on an impressive base and reaffirming its place as an ideal location for organisations wanting to set-up, operate and grow from the UK. The Chamber is proud to have played a part in supporting partners and helping the business community prosper.”
Peter Read, Chairman of TVB LEP added: “These are brilliant results and testament to the work done by our delivery partner, the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce. In a global economy, where we are competing against other locations worldwide, Thames Valley Berkshire continues to more than hold its own.
“These results are reflected in our third Growth Deal proposal to government which highlighted that Thames Valley Berkshire has seen the greatest overall growth in productivity of all LEP areas and has the highest proportion of foreign-owned businesses.
“Government investment into this region will further drive economic growth and send a strong and positive message to those international companies with UK, European or Global HQs in Thames Valley Berkshire; their retention is more critical than ever, not only to secure the economic contribution they make but also to sustain the supply chain they share with other, smaller businesses.”