Doncaster tops for foreign investment

A train at Hitachi's Doncaster rail depot
A train at Hitachi's Doncaster rail depot

Doncaster saw some of the highest figures for foreign investment in South Yorkshire last year, regional officials said today.

Bosses representing the Sheffield City Region say the area saw its best ever year for investment by foreign-owned companies, with growth up by a record 50 per cent on 2016.

They revealed two Doncaster projects were the top schemes in the Sheffield City Region in 2016/17 in terms of investment value.

They were Hitachi Maintenance Facility - worth £70million, and the Lidl warehouse at iPort, Rossington, also £70million.

The top project success in the city region in the same period measured by jobs was listed as Amazon’s Doncaster development, with 500 positions. Chris Scholey, the Local Enterprise Board member who leads on inward investment for the SCR, said: “The nine local authorities and the Sheffield City Region specialists have worked very hard together to encourage investors to come to the region.

“They have been incredibly successful in securing jobs and investment. As a result the region is looking good!”

Rachel Clark, director of trade and investment for the SCR, added: “The region is seeing some very exciting success, and the culmination of a lot of hard collaborative work with our local authority and business partners.

“These investments can often take years to come to fruition – but it’s all worthwhile when the jobs and investment come in and create such fantastic economic growth.”

City region bosses also described plans by developers Verdion to develop the second stage of the iPort site at Doncaster as a success.

The nine districts across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Notts which comprise the SCR have seen a massive £1.9billion pumped into them, and more than 7,000 jobs created or safeguarded.

The figures, compiled by the SCR, represent the most successful 12 months for foreign investment into the area since the SCR was established six years ago to drive economic growth and jobs.

In the past year foreign companies have invested £500million in 49 projects, creating 2,800 jobs while UK-based foreign-owned companies invested in another 31 projects, creating a further 366 jobs.

In the SCR key sectors, advanced manufacturing and engineering accounted for over 30 per cent of the year’s investments. Other important areas, which include automotive, logistics and business, professional and financial services, represented around 60 per cent.