A North East investment group has said it has facilitated a record number of new investments and expansions during 2020, despite the issues presented by the pandemic.
According to Business Live, Invest Newcastle, which aims to attract investment to the North East and help local firms achieve growth through financial packages, says it has supported 26 new businesses invest and relocate to Newcastle and Gateshead, creating and securing 2,500 jobs in the region.
With the pandemic meaning many local investment visits were put on hold, the increase was achieved by Invest Newcastle promoting the region to global investors.
A total of 84 per cent of the investments were made in the life sciences, creative, digital and tech sectors, which continue to be major growth sectors in the North East.
The investment group also reported a significant rise in investment in the fintech sector, most noticeably witnessed when global fintech company Xplor chose Newcastle from a shortlist of ten UK cities as its newest location, which created more than 200 jobs.
Along with helping firms move to the North East, Invest Newcastle also helped 18 businesses to expand and grow their business, which equates to an increase of 80 per cent in 2019/20.
Jennifer Hartley, director at Invest Newcastle said: “Our region’s strengths in digital and tech and life science have really shone through, showing confidence in our city as a business location, and our ability to attract and retain the best talent.
“Inward investment activity is critical to our region’s economic recovery and to support our work we have recently expanded our team, with three new team members who will help us to attract further investment, jobs, and opportunities.”
The group hopes that more businesses will see the appeal of the North East following the region’s decision to promote itself globally as a high potential opportunity (HPO), which is selected as so, will support inward investment by allowing the region to showcase its assets to investors in 177 cities around the world via the Department for International Trade’s global network.
Coun Joyce McCarty, cabinet member for inclusive economy at Newcastle City Council, said: “Inward investment is crucial as our city recovers from the pandemic. The North East has one of the fastest-growing digital clusters in the UK, with this sector continuing to grow, particularly within the fintech space, and we continue to be a hot spot for life sciences, with our world-class universities and outstanding hospitals trust contributing to our offer.”
She added that the strengths of the region play a huge role in the recovery of the local economy and that it was ‘promising’ to see businesses recognising the area as a ‘northern hub city’, as many firms look to move away from London-based headquarters, seeking a batter quality of life and a fantastic talent pool.
“Newcastle City Council will continue to work hard to make sure our indigenous businesses get the support they need, create good quality well-paid jobs and help us retain graduates from our excellent universities,” she concluded.
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