Overseas cash boosts region

Newly-released figures today reveal more overseas companies are investing in the North-east, creating thousands of jobs.

Newly-released figures today reveal more overseas companies are investing in the North-east, creating thousands of jobs.

Government statistics show 63 firms moved to, or re-invested in existing businesses in the region, in the past financial year - five more than in 2004/05.

Those investments will create 4,253 jobs, safeguarding a further 1,522 posts, with capital expenditure of £62m.

Regional development agency One NorthEast had direct involvement in 49 of the investments.

The rise in the number of investments in the region by foreign companies mirrors figures released by UK Trade and Investment today, which reveal a record 1,220 projects being brought into the country in the past financial year, creating or protecting almost 90,000 jobs.

The total number of jobs created and safeguarded in the North-east in the last financial year in this way was 136 fewer than in 2004/05, which returned exceptional figures due to major developments such as at Nissan's Washington plant.

One NorthEast's investment and aftercare team work closely with UK Trade and Investment, Tees Valley Regeneration, Northumberland County Council, Tyne and Wear Development Company, and County Durham Development Company to secure new investment in the face of stiff competition from other UK regions and overseas.

Successes in 2005/06 included Italian manufacturer Berco choosing Middlesbrough to open its first UK facility to supply one of its biggest customers Komatsu - One NorthEast offering the company a £210,000 Selective Finance for Investment grant. The £4.5m investment will create up to 40 new jobs.

Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling said: "Inward investment is essential to the UK economy. It creates and underpins British jobs, as well as revitalising local and regional economies."

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