2020 saw the South West attract an increase in foreign investment

Tuesday 8th June 2021

EY’s latest UK Attractiveness Survey discovered that the SouthWest procured Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for 32 projects compared with 30in the previous year. This rise of 6.7% was achieved whilst the UK as a wholesaw a decline of 12% - so, clearly a vote of confidence in the region’s diverseeconomy. For the fuller picture please read the bulletin below which was issuedby Insider News Media today.

Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 7thJune 2021


SouthWest Records Rise in Foreign Investment - EY

The South West'sattractiveness as an investment destination increased in 2020, despite theimpact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to research from EY.

The firm's latest UKAttractiveness Survey found that the region secured 32 inbound foreign directinvestment (FDI) projects in 2020, up 6.7 per cent from the 30 achieved in2019.

The result has propelledthe South West's share of UK projects from 2.7 per cent to 3.3 per cent – itsfirst rise in market share since 2017.

The region's performancewas driven by its strength in key sectors, including in digital technology(seven projects in 2020, up one from 2019), its joint highest total in thesector since 2016 and a contrast to the significant contraction in digitalprojects nationwide.

Business services recordedfour projects (down one from 2019), machinery and equipment ranked third in theregion with four projects (up one from 2019) and electronics and IT recordedthree projects (up two from 2019).

While the South Westsecured additional projects compared to 2019, the UK as a whole reported adecline of 12 per cent from 1,109 in 2019 to 975 in 2020. Meanwhile, the UKdigital technology sector declined by 25 per cent overall, from 432 projects to322.

Among the area's towns andcities, only Bristol featured in the UK's top 20 locations for FDI projects in2020, ranking in joint ninth (with Cambridge) having attracted 12 projects.

Karen Kirkwood, officemanaging partner at EY in the South West, said: "The South West has adiverse regional economy – perhaps one of the reasons that FDI projects aresplit between a number of sectors, with none being dominant.

"The manufacturingsector remains key for the region and despite the sector's recent performancethere are still positives in the research. Supply chain changes have created anopportunity to capture a larger share of investment in modern manufacturing,with almost half – 45 per cent – of all respondents to our UK survey planningto change their supply chains, a figure that rises to 52 per cent in consumergoods and 62 per cent in the technology sector."