The Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Leeds City Region – which includes Wetherby and the entire Harrogate district – has created a dedicated team to focus on international investment and coordinate trade support for the city region.
The ‘international’ team, which is charged with driving jobs, growth and productivity across inward investment and trade in the city region, has been created following the transfer of former members of the Leeds and Partners (the publicly-funded investment agency, now defunct) inward investment and marketing and communications teams, into the LEP in April.
The LEP will develop a coordinated international strategy to further drive inward investment, raise the profile of the city region and ultimately provide trade support across key international markets.
LEP chairman Roger Marsh said: “The internationalisation of our economy is critical to driving good growth in Leeds City Region and the development of the LEP’s international team presents us with an opportunity to build on the excellent work already undertaken and drive our global competitiveness to the next level.
“I’m delighted that the inward investment and marketing communications teams of Leeds and Partners have joined the LEP. The latest figures from the EY Attractiveness Survey demonstrate the impact of their work over the last three years and we are determined to build on this, to stay focused on converting our FDI pipeline and to integrate trade and investment activity to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.
“A recent example of the international team’s work came when the City Region hosted a business delegation from China, which included the Governor of the most advanced development zone in China, Guangzhou Development District (GDD), which outputs in excess of £20bn a year. This offered myself and colleagues from both the public and private sector a fantastic opportunity to explore how the GDD operates, the similarities that exist between it and our City Region and how we might better work together.”
The region’s strong inward investment performance was reflected in EY’s 2015 UK Attractiveness Survey; which reported the region’s most successful year for inward investment since 1998 and the highest rate of growth recorded by any of the UK’s 12 regions.