Sheffield named among ‘most attractive’ business locations for inward investment

Sheffield named among ‘most attractive’ business locations for inward investment

29 October 2015

• Sheffield in top 7% of value for money high quality business locations for foreign owned businesses
• Together Leeds, Sheffield and York now have more than 1,000 foreign owned businesses

A major new study of the quality and cost of business locations has cited Sheffield among the UK’s best locations for inward investment, a vital component of delivering growth.

Grant Thornton’s new Business Location Index, published for the first time today (29 October 2015), evaluates data from 324 local authorities in England and ranks cities as potential centres for investment by foreign owned businesses based on key economic, social and environmental criteria. The report has shown that Sheffield is outperforming many other English cities, and is ranked at the top of the tables for quality and value. In fact, Yorkshire and the Humber along with the East Midlands are the areas with the greatest number of high quality low cost locations.

The Business Location Index (BLI) has been created by Grant Thornton to help redress the imbalance of inward investment activity across England by helping local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities better understand and communicate their strengths and assets as business locations.

Sheffield was named among the top 7% of UK locations best able to offer relatively high quality business locations at a relatively low cost. The cost factors analysed include average earnings, business rates and average house prices.

“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,” said Paul Houghton, senior partner at Grant Thornton in Sheffield and a board member of the Sheffield City Region LEP.

“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.”

The report also ranks LEPs by foreign owned companies, showing that together Leeds (566), Sheffield (343) and York (177) have 1086 overseas firms, around 5% of the total in England.

“The report highlights that the opportunity for both 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,” added Paul Houghton.

“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 looking to invest outside London,” he concluded.