More To Be Done To Attract Investment In Bradford

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In recent years an increasing proportion of Foreign Direct Investments in the area are based in Leeds.

More needs to be done to make sure international businesses wanting to invest in the region look beyond Leeds – according to a new report.

New figures from West Yorkshire Combined Authority show that in recent years an increasing proportion of Foreign Direct Investments in the area are based in Leeds.

Between 2016 and 2018 the percentage of these FDIs in the Leeds City Region that were based in Leeds rose from 31 per cent to 59 per cent.

At the same time the percentage of FDIs in Bradford fell from 18 per cent to six per cent.

The Authority admits more will need to be done to encourage such investments in cities and towns outside of Leeds.

The Leeds City Region is the name given to the local region that includes Leeds, Bradford, York, Calderdale and Kirklees.

A report into business growth in this region will be discussed by the Combined Authority on Tuesday afternoon. It reveals that in the last three years there have been 100 foreign investments in Leeds. There were 25 in Bradford, 20 in Wakefield, 10 in York and 10 in Calderdale.

The report adds: “The core city of Leeds attracts substantially more FDI projects than other towns and cities within the City Region.

“The popularity of Leeds as a destination for FDI and other forms of investment is growing rapidly and has been buoyed of recent, by projects such as Channel 4, Burberry and Reed Smith.

“The number of projects in cities such as Bradford, York and Wakefield remains low and has in some cases declined year on year since 2016.

“The trends indicate that a more bespoke and concentrated effort is now required to develop a strategy that attracts inward investment to the wider towns and cities within Leeds City Region.”

The report suggests that the Investor Development team should now have “an increased focus of non-core city districts.”

And it says post Brexit investment from the EU was likely to “slow down” but would still be “significant.”

Mike Cartwright from the West Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said: “We support efforts that look at bringing in more inward investment into the region, and specifically to Bradford.”

“Leeds clearly has its own strengths, of course, but then so do other towns and cities including Bradford, and so it’s important to ensure those other places are not forgotten about.

“Recognition of emerging markets, plus a place-making campaign approach, shows that there is a good understanding of what is needed.”

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