Job creation from overseas investment soars by a third

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At least 84,759 new jobs were created in the UK 2021/22 from foreign direct investment, an analysis of data from the Department for Trade by the Thames Estuary Growth Board (TEGB) found. This is a leap from the previous year’s 55,319 new jobs and a record since 2016/17’s 82,650 jobs.

The growth was despite the overall number of projects falling by almost a third (32 per cent) over the last five years because of global market instability and the pandemic.

Kate Willard OBE, chair of the TEGB, said: “The number of jobs created by overseas investment is fantastic and testament to what the UK can achieve.

“We need to make sure these benefits are felt across the country, because there is so much potential in regions like the Thames Estuary.”

The analysis found that overseas money is going into a smaller number of big projects, focused in areas like London which attracted 40 per cent of jobs since 2016/17.

At least 444 projects were started in the capital in 2021/22 from foreign direct investment, creating 18,125 new jobs.

In the East Midlands, 6,888 jobs were created in the same period – a huge rise from the 2,149 jobs the previous year.

TEGB said: “The increase in jobs against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and a global slowdown in growth has highlighted the value of securing investment into the UK, showing that the UK is a valued prospect for investors from abroad who can contribute to levelling up.”

In the North East, overseas money helped create 5,843 jobs in 2021/22, beating the 4,609 new jobs from 2016/17.

There were 71 new projects started in the North East last year and a five-year high of 99 in the East Midlands, the figures showed.

The Government last month announced the latest £2.1billion of support for local projects, with almost £362 million being spent in London and the South East, while £354 million will go to the North West.

Communities Minister Lucy Frazer said £8billiomn of bids were made for the funding, with around £2 billion approved to 100 projects.

The £2 billion allocated comes from the overall £4.8billion levelling up fund announced in 2020.

Ms Willard said: “Levelling-up is an economic and social issue, not just a geographical one – but can be delivered without a reliance on government funding and with creative political solutions to support critical projects and attract private investment.”

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