Birmingham voted best place to invest in the UK – and second best in Western Europe

BIRMINGHAM has been recognised as the best place in the UK for businesses to invest, according to a US investment specialist.

Site Selection is a US-based business magazine, circulated internationally to a specialist audience of more than 43,000 senior, decision-making executives.

The publication’s Best to Invest list focuses on factors including growth in new facilities, capital investment, economic strength and infrastructure.

The international magazine’s sixth annual Best to Invest rankings, which position destinations around the world according to their success at attracting investment projects, placed Birmingham second in the Western European metros list behind Barcelona.

Birmingham improved its ranking by eight places, from 10th in 2012, overtaking London to become the top UK location in Western Europe for investment-attraction activity.  For Western European nations, the UK was ranked in 2nd place, behind Ireland.

Wouter Schuitemaker, Investment Director at Business Birmingham, the city’s official inward investment programme, said: “In the incredibly competitive race for inward investment, these latest rankings confirm Birmingham’s status as one of the most attractive places in the world for firms to set up. They are a testament to the close collaboration of the city’s business community in providing the best possible package for potential investors.

“Our investment strategy is already reaping dividends – the city created or safeguarded more than 4,000 jobs in 2012/13, boosting the region’s economy by £174m.

“It is imperative that we build on this global recognition and continue to hold our own over our national and international counterparts. With significant infrastructure and transport projects – including New Street station – close to completion, and by strengthening our focus on our key sectors and growth markets, we are confident that we can remain as the country’s most popular investment choice.”

Birmingham secured 41 inward investment projects – the highest on record – during 2012/13, a 52% rise against a national increase of 11%. The city is home to more than 32,000 companies, including nearly 700 international firms. The city has also recently been awarded ‘FDI Destination of the Future 2013’ and recognised as the most attractive UK regional city for quality of life (Mercer 2014).

Site Selection’s Best to Invest Top 10 Metros (Western Europe)
1.         Barcelona, Spain
2.         Birmingham, UK
3.         Dublin, Ireland
4.         Madrid, Spain
5.         London, UK
6.         Vienna, Austria
7.         Erfurt, Germany
8.         Athens, Greece
9.         Limerick, Ireland
10.       Antwerp, Belgium