Inward investment stimulates job creation in Birmingham

Posted on 15 Dec 2011 by Tim Brown

Almost 1,800 jobs have been created as a result of inward investment in Birmingham in the eight months to December 2011, with more than 20% in transport technologies. 

The figures were announced by Business Birmingham, the city’s inward investment programme. The jobs creation has been driven by the proactive focus of Business Birmingham since it started operating in April 2011.

Wouter Schuitemaker, Investment Director at Business Birmingham, commented:  “To generate investment and jobs, we have focused on raising the profile of Birmingham, and its sectoral strengths, on a global scale. The Business Birmingham team has conducted a number of successful international trade visits – to destinations including India, France and five cities across the USA. We have also welcomed the Chinese Premier and the German Ambassador to Birmingham, and hosted our 2DigitalDays event to showcase the area’s vibrant digital community to potential investors.

“We have exceeded our overall job creation target by 42% so far, generating 1,777 jobs against an original target of 1,250 until April 2012. This has in a large part been driven by strong performances in financial services and in automotive, where we have surpassed our targets considerably. With investment from organisations including the Business Growth Fund, Trowers & Hamlins and FIS Global, and more in the pipeline, it is a trend we anticipate continuing into 2012.”

According to Mr Schuitemaker, the figures demonstrate that Business Birmingham’s sectoral and market-focused inward investment strategy is paying dividends; targeting overseas organisations with an appetite for the skills and innovations that the Birmingham area can demonstrate through its talent and solid supply chain opportunities, and identifying countries based upon both existing trade links and size of opportunity – the USA and India in particular.

He continued: “By concentrating on sectors such as advanced manufacturing and engineering, financial services and low carbon technologies, we have been able to leverage the value and service chains built around resident global players such as ThyssenKrupp, Jaguar Land Rover and most recently, Skanska.

“As we move into 2012, we will continue to build on these strengths but also focus more strongly on life sciences and digital media. Due to our recent success Business Birmingham is also extending our target audience to 10 markets from four, including China, Japan, Australia and Switzerland, based on higher than expected levels of interest from these markets.”

Some 120 inward investment prospects are in the pipeline for Business Birmingham – of which nearly two thirds (65%) are in financial and business services, digital media, manufacturing and transport technologies. North America has the most overseas projects (16%), followed by India (6%) and Germany (5%).

In November, Business Birmingham signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UK Trade & Investment to become the main point of contact for inward investment enquiries for Greater Birmingham and Solihull. It has been in operation since April 2011 after officially launching in October 2010 as part of the city’s strategic marketing partnership, Marketing Birmingham. Business Birmingham also works closely with the Black Country to generate investment into the wider area.